First of all, I found this grapic on another site I visit: kind over matter. It made me exceedingly happy on a day where I needed a little sunshine.
Today was not an easy day. Our scores came in. Yesterday we got the pass/fail version of the scores, and I was quite pleased, breathing a sigh of relief. All my kids did well, some better than expected, and everyone passed. For most, that's success right there, and I guess for me, it's success.
But, you see, there's a problem. At our school, everybody passes. It's the little word "commended" that is the golden ticket. And my commended rates...they're not very commendable. In a school where perfection is the standard, this round of scores is less than perfect. My teaching compadres assure me it's not a big deal, but I felt rather crushed when I got the word. I'm still a little fuzzy on this whole thing.
But then I remembered that I made this choice. I made this choice when I decided against teaching to the test. I could force my kids to go over the test three separate times before turning in the test, as some teachers do. I could test and retest and retest and retest, and then test some more.
I'm not an idiot...I know they have to pass. And they did.
They also learned that they have to be nice to each other and treat each other with respect, even when they themselves aren't treated with respect.
They learned that even if no one else is following the rules or behaving right, they still have to.
They learned that if they need help with something, ask for it.
They learned that if you mess up, you have to make it right. If you do something good, you have to own it and be proud without bragging it.
They learned that if you see a problem you can solve, be it getting a bandaid for someone or not bothering them when they're clearly having a meltdown, you solve it.
They learned that you all make mistakes and we've just got to get over it.
They learned that you don't just read books. You talk about them.
They learned that you're going to use math every day of your life.
They learned that it's not all about the test.
So, at the end of the day, I made the choice to teach them more than just the test, and because of that, they still passed the test, but learned a lot more than shows up on the state-issued score report. And I just have to accept that.
Oh, and I may have to love that new show Glee.