I Pity the Fool
Ah, and the Bacon Hunter strikes again. This last year has been so much better and so different from my previous experiences with her as a “staff developer” (read “raging waste of space”). Perhaps all the negative commentary and ground standing got through and she decided to slow her role this year. Whatever. I don’t care. She has been far less irritating.
And then…. (C’mon, you knew that was coming didn’t you? Like I would post a glowing review of her or something. Please!)
In the spirit of Extreme Standardized Testing, we have decided to test the living daylights out of small children who haven’t even reached an official testing grade yet. I know, it’s awesome (insert sarcastic tone here, and maybe a small tear running down my cheek). And the Bacon Hunter developed a whole NEW test that not only duplicates some of the findings of old tests and impacts my instruction in no way at all, she has also found a way to make the test a degrading experience for teachers too. Jackpot, right?
Let me explain. She decided that we needed ANOTHER math test which was catered only to the state standards for our grade (keep in mind that we are already assessing children on these standards about four hundred other ways that are more authentic and telling than a pen to paper test). We are mandated (read bitch-slapped if we don’t comply) to give this assessment about once a month. So not only is it unnecessary, it’s basically omni-present. As icing on the cake, she also demands (read wields her non-existent authority) that we turn the completed test in to her so SHE can grade them.
Because I can’t draw the hands on a clock correctly.
Or add double digit numbers.
Or measure a straight line to the nearest inch.
I mean, you all know that teachers are only as smart as the grade they teach and since I teach a lower grade….
Are you kidding me? I can’t correct my own students WORK? So not only do you waste my/our time by insisting that we engage in this ridiculousness, you also insult my intelligence and maintain your position as a raging jerk off.
Fast foward to parent/teacher conferences. The Bacon Hunter has corrected and photo-copied the most recent Assessment Of Nothing that she has created and has once again demanded (read snarled) that it be distributed to parents during conferences.
“And I will be checking up on you.”
Because again, I am no smarter than or more responsible than the children I teach.
In the spirit of Being Positive in 2008, I have decided not to fight this battle. ( OK, in all honesty, I fought this battle tooth and nail last year and lost. Stupid teacher, I should remember my place. At the bottom. )
I am in the middle of a conference with the second parent of the night when I dutifully hand out the test. A particularly motivated and concerned parent (Yes, friends, they are out there and I heart them) took the time to look through the test.
Something which I had failed to do because I was also dispensing reams of my own much more useful student work to parents. Oops.
Her: “Mrs. Mimi, why was this marked wrong?”
Me, looking at the paper and seeing that the child has written 6 x 3 = 18 in response to a number story. Which is correct.
Me: “Uuuhhhhh…I’m not sure.”
Her: “Didn’t you correct this test?”
Me: (shit) “No.”
Her: “Who did?”
Me: “Our math specialist.”
Her: “And isn’t this also correct?”
Me, looking at the paper once again, seeing 22 + 15 = 37, which is, yet again, correct.
Me: ” Um, yes it is.”
Her: “Actually it looks like my son should have gotten several of these marked correct.”
Me: “Yes, it does.”
Her: “What does your math specialist do with the results of this test?”
Me: “She graphs the information for the entire grade and then it is placed in the kids’ permanent records.”
Her: “And it’s incorrect?”
Me: “Um, yes. Again, I’m very sorry. Please know that I plan instruction and grade your child based on assessments I create, assign and grade myself, more than I look at this kind of data. While it is required, I rely more on the notes I take as children are actually engaged in math work.”
Her: “I am sure that you do. I have a lot of confidence in your work. My son has been making a lot of progress this year. But don’t you think I should bring these errors on the part of your math specialist to the attention of the principal? I mean, this is more than just one mistake. ”
Me: “Yes, yes I do think he would be interested. Let me walk you down to his office.”
Is it wrong that I smiled from ear to ear the entire walk down the stairs?