Even the most professional of us have to worry. In the midst of delicious dinners and good conversation, our day jobs can often worry us to the point where we fidget 72 hours before we even get to see our kids again. Instead of trying to keep some modicum of peace before the storm, we worry about what we have to get done before the big state test happens. The stakes get escalated with our value-added pseudo-numbers posted for the world to see, and reporters purporting that they had to post them because the reports were in their position (they didn’t).
Thus, Ariel Sacks wonders aloud in the midst of our conversation what we would do if the test wasn’t coming. In short, a freakin’ lot.
If the state test wasn’t coming …
I’d teach my students a whole lot slower, helping them upgrade their problem-solving and numerical skills so they could actually be ready for high school.
I would have taken 14 days on transformation instead of the five (rushed) days I spent because I knew I only had seven actual teaching days left. With the way the exams and vacation land this year, we might get a small window to remind them how to solve percents, equations, and angle relationships.
I would spend more time on trips and computer games and less time on counting down until that dreadful day.
I would stop telling most of my colleagues it’s going to be alright, and so long as we try our best, there us little we can do. Except that, due to NCLB / RTT mandates, I do worry whether we’ll be alright and I’m always too hard on myself so I do worry if we tried our absolute best.
I would breathe. Hard.
I would let some thoughts marinate a little more in the minds of my students. Like these.