Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Under Pressure

Am I the only one that when they hear Queen's Under Pressure they think Vanilla Ice's iconic song is about to come blaring through their speakers? They both start with a similar's pure trickery I tell you!

Needless to say Queen's Under Pressure is a fitting song for the approaching season for teachers. It's time to perform and by perform I mean we will be the spectators to our own Olympic events.

Testing Olympic events will include

Unlike the Olympics where the athletes almost automatically know how they performed we, teachers, students, parents and administration, have to wait months for the scores to be delivered. Will we win a gold, silver, bronze or will we not even be deemed fitting for a medal?

The first event in the Testing Olympics will be February 25th. The Florida Writes is almost here. We had at my school what could be compared to the opening of the Testing Olympics this past Friday. All the 8th graders were gathered and given a surprise writing prompt. The group that I was the spectator of were seven of my own students. Students that I have poured more than enough time and effort to prep them for this test. As I painstakingly watched them frown their little foreheads as they tried to wrap their mind around what they were told to write; I could not help think that my worth as a teacher is riding on how well they perform on a test. Are they able to produce a well written essay? Will they become frustrated and just give up? Am I going to be told that my scores are horrible? How in the world is this fair?

By the end of Friday I had been given a majority of my students essays back from their mock FL writes. I really only looked at one and barely glanced at the others. I cannot tell you how disheartened and disappointed I felt by the one essay I did look at. This essay in particular nearly brought me to tears. It contained a mere couple of sentences in what was supposed to be a five paragraph essay. What makes this essay even worse is that it belongs to a student who has shown the most growth in their writing. I know that my students can write. I have proof. I have seen with my very own eyes that they have the ability to write a well developed essay.

If I were to title the picture above I would call it "Under Pressure"

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