February 21, 2010

Oh my school...

Friday's guided reading made me laugh and shake my head with this fantastic quote:
Student: (reading) "and they foiled his plan."
Me: "Foil. That's a word with multiple meanings. What are some meanings for the word foil?"
Student: "like metal?"
Me: "Good, like tin foil."
Student: "yeah some people make grills out of that."
Me: (momentary silence) "um yes...can you think of any other meanings for the word foil..."

Oh my...

In other news, ISATs are 1 week away. And I'm not exactly feeling confident. I gave an extended response friday morning and when I graded it yesterday was more than a little dismayed to see that 3/4s of my class got 1s and 2s. After all our hard work. It is just so frustrating. Then my mom suggests that maybe I am grading them too harshly and I about lost it. Excuse me, mom, but while you are an excellent teacher, I don't appreciate hearing any suggestions from a teacher of gifted and talented students in an affluent school. Excuse me for thinking you just may not understand. I know it is not her I am frustrated with, and it's not even (entirely) the kids. Because as I was filling out report cards today, I saw how so many of my kids have made growth in their subjects since first trimester, and many have improved their grades. And as I wrote comments describing their work habits and social emotional development, I couldn't stop thinking, "These students are so much more than just a test score."
Good teaching is about so much more than test scores. I am frustrated that the state and the country do not understand that. My students are doing their best. I am doing my best. That is all we can do, at the end of the day.

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