May 2, 2014
Yesterday I wrote my evaluation on a student in my class (Part I). Untamed Adventurer, my nickname for PH, is an academically, above average student in my 8th grade Language Arts class. He will most likely receive Exceeds the Standard on his Arizona standardized test (AIMS). Today, I will compare him to another one of my students, JD aka Compassionate Leader. Compassionate Leader will also most likely receive an Exceeds the Standard on his Reading and Writing Aims test. However, these two young men receive different evaluations from me.
Compassionate Leader is exactly as his nickname insinuates. He is a leader, although sometimes reluctantly. He has the self-confidence of a leader, with the just the right amount of conceit to lead. He is kind and conscientious of his fellow classmates, most of the time. After all, he is a typical 14 year-old young man. Compassionate Leader (JD) and Untamed Adventurer are friends. Whereas Untamed Adventurer likes to run wild, Compassionate Leader tempers is enthusiastic spirit in the name of his academics. JD is concerned that he does well in his classes and not in that “My mom is gonna kill me if I don’t get good grades,” kind of way. Although, I can imagine that is the case (jk). No, JD takes his studies serious because he knows he has been blessed with above average intelligence and he is proud and determined to live up to his potential. In a world where we so often hear of young people doing the wrong thing, JD is a young man determined to live up to his responsibilities. These qualities will serve him well as he enters into high school.
As far as his reading comprehension skills are concerned, JD is above grade level. He is adept at answering basic comprehension questions and can look beyond a story to answer critical thinking questions about why a particular character does what he does. He understands a characters motivation and he understands how it contributes to a theme in a story. This is what allows him to be compassionate. JD understands human nature, at least in so far as his peers are concerned, which is what we expect from our leaders. JD’s writing skills are also above grade level. He is adept at writing a compound sentence, he can revise and edit a rough draft essay, and he understands the importance of the writing process.
So, there you have it, dear Readers, my assessment versus the standardized state test assessment. Both Untamed Adventurer and Compassionate Leader are on equal footing as far as the state of Arizona is concerned; both will earn an Exceeds the Standards on their state reading and writing assessments. However, each will need very different guidance and support in order to be successful in high school. I, for one, intend on fighting to see that they get it. Peace, ~v.