*Cherry and Chutney got bus write-ups last week that showed up in my mailbox only this morning. They were defiant to the bus driver and refused to sit down on the bus. And Cherry called Chutney the B word.
*A staffer whose grandson is in my class told me that he had really paid attention to my lesson yesterday. I tried to remember what lesson that might have been. She said, “he knows all the three-dimensional shapes now. He told me, ‘did you know that the other name for a ball shape is a sphere?’ and also told me about cubes, cylinders, and cones.” I was tickled. Someone was listening!
*Plum showed up after two days at home and burst into tears. “What’s wrong, honey?” “I…want…my…DADDY!” she sobbed. She sobbed all the way to the local library, so, for the first hour of the morning. At the library she sat on Miss Slinger’s lap whimpering, and then fell asleep in her arms. I spent most of story time trying to track down her parents, who finally showed up when we were back at school.
*I got a new student, who moved to my class from the afternoon class. She knows Miss Slinger, and the room, but not me. She was dressed in a t-shirt and a thin sweatshirt today, and it was very cold out (in the 30s). I tried to give her a jacket to wear to the library, but she refused. I gave her a partner to hold hands with, and she refused. So she held my hand all the way there. Miss Mellow told me later that the new girl is very moody, that mom didn’t show up for her parent conference — twice — and that the girl came to school once with a warm jacket, and not again since.
*Because of very poor test scores, the third through fifth grade teams were shaken up, and a few teachers were removed from classroom teaching (they will be doing supplemental teaching instead). At least one teacher was in tears. Emotions were running high. I wish the Prince had done this back in June, but I think he did the right thing, better late than never. It’s inexcusable when certain teachers’ students don’t make a year’s worth of progress. Our students are so far behind they really need to make well more than a year’s progress. Less than a year? Shameful.
*We read Knuffle Bunny for the second time (I’m back to doing Repeated Interactive Readalouds), and at the end, I asked, “have you ever lost something?” After we heard about a lost ball and a lost car, I told them about a time when I lost my favorite mittens. Pumpkin looked very concerned. He raised his hand. “Teacher, I can give you my red mittens. Let me go get them for you.” And he was about to get up before I stopped him, and assured him that I have since replaced the lost mittens. He tried again at dismissal time to give me his red mittens. So sweet.
*Zucchini had so much fun at recess that he forgot to tell me he needed to go pee. He had a change of clothes in his backpack — but the pants were shorts! So the poor kid went home in a warm jacket, hat, mittens, boots….and shorts.
*I visited Miss Mellow’s class, with her okay, to talk to them about all the stuff in the room, and how most of it is stuff I paid for. I talked to them about respecting books, and how to take care of them, and where to put them (the Mo Willems books go in the Mo Willems box, not the ABC box, and the farm books go on the shelf, not in the color box). I also showed them how to clean up the house corner and where everything goes there. Later Miss Slinger told me that they did a much better job of clean up after their centers time.
*I spent two hours finishing writing up a post-observation report. It made me cranky. I don’t think I want to be a mentor next year.
Wow, some teachers at your school were removed from the classroom mid-year because of benchmark test scores? That sounds really extreme…I’m assuming there was a huge discrepancy in gains between teachers?
It is not always possible for every child to make a full year’s worth of growth every year. There are soooo many contributing factors that are outside of the teacher’s control. Also, if student growth is measured only by test scores, that’s a problem. A single test isn’t an accurate measure of a child’s progress, much less a teacher’s effectiveness.
I’d love for you to share the ‘rest of the story’ with us… 🙂
Angela, I’ll have more to say about it as I learn more, and as the new plan rolls out on Monday. But suffice it to say that we are in the final stages of restructuring under NCLB, after years of not making Adequate Yearly Progress…..