What's up?

Part of the TAKS drilling strategies is this contest we call the “Writing Roundup.” Basically, the kids do a selection off the seventh grade Writing TAKS from previous years. They fill in their answers on a scantron and we compare percentages.

On the bulletin board in the hallway, there is a race track with cars and pictures of the 6th grade ELA teachers. Positions are changed every Wednesday and Friday, the day after the kids do the “Writing Roundup” in class. Every other teacher has been in first place, except mine. This week, my car has finally ended up in a ditch, and really, I don’t know if we’ll be able to get it out.

Of course, I question myself as a teacher. Everyone tells me not to worry about. I was only three points behind, which is really nothing, but I still worry. Are these kids regurgitating answers to me or do they really know what they’re talking about? We practice our grammar almost every day on our bell work/quick start, and yet they fail to see the simplest things like the misspelling of schedule.

But then, when I ask them what we talked about the day before and no one in the class can tell me, I wonder if it’s really me. I guess the fact that the TAKS is only ten weeks away is pretty nerve wrecking in itself. I hate to have to teach to this damn test, a test that contains so many errors that leaves teachers and students befuddled when they go over the answers, a test that the entire Texas education system revolves around, a test whose results can eventually decide whether or not a teacher is worth keeping on board.


Gustavo said...

It sucks that it seems that the ultimate goal in education is test scores. I understand how they are important but they shouldn't be the only thing that matters. It really seems like state testing in Tejas is much like California. Don't feel bad, there is only so much you can do and it really seems that you're already giving your students 110% effort. I'm sure everything in the end will turn out good for your class.

Gabi said...

Consider this: if you were not a great, fantastic, incredible, marvelous, lovely teacher you would never share your concerns as an educator and you would not be concerned about your students' learning skills; instead you would simply want your students to pass the tests.