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Busting Our Butts is the Default Setting

Saturn Ring Blues
Today was the first day for teachers to report back to their buildings. Theoretically, I should have accomplished a ton of stuff to be ready for the first day with students next week, but it seemed I frittered the time from one mini-meeting to the next.

Here's something else, tomorrow we will go over the state testing numbers for the school. Rumor is that we looked pretty good, with improvements nearly everywhere, but I don't feel a sense of accomplishment. Last year we busted our butts to do a good job with the kids. The year before, when we didn't improve, we also busted our butts to do a good job. The year we focused on reading, reading went down, but writing improved. The year we worked like crazy to improve writing scores, the scores stayed flat, but reading ticked upwards.

One year, while changing nothing (we did the same bust-our-butts effort we do every year), the scores soared. When we looked at that group of 10th graders, they also killed the tests as 9th graders. They'd been rocking the scores since they started testing in 3rd grade. They were a good group.

The point is that we have no idea why our testing numbers go up or down. The changes seem independent of our efforts and changes that we make in how we're teaching. I'm certainly not going to feel the flush of success because our test scores ticked up a percentage or two.

We will bust our butts this year too. Our scores may go up, stay flat, or drop. No one knows, and when we do know, we won't know why, other than to say that it wasn't because we busted our butts. That's what we always do.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mmegaera
Aug. 7th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
School starts on August 13th where you teach? That's in the middle of summer vacation! School's not supposed to start till September. I'm sure there's a rule about that somewhere.
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