My [redacted] Journey

A teacher's search for inner peace.

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May 16, 2016

Dear Readers,

It’s test time again across this great nation of ours and apparently I’m not allowed to discuss our state mandated, high stakes test. In fact, neither are my students. Seriously?  Seriously. As I was reading my students the scripted test instructions, I had to re-read the sentence warning students to not even talk about the test. I’m familiar with instructions about not talking during the test. But heaven help me! We can’t even talk about the test? Huh?

Apparently, in this corporate takeover, data driven, standardized reform-y thing we call school, teachers are having both hands tied behind their backs.     We won’t see the results of the tests until next school year, and now the students can’t even talk to us, their teachers, about the questions they had to answer. 

This is a really big deal. Teachers across the nation are being threatened by the almighty PARRC for writing about, thus revealing, how inept and inaccurate their test for 4th grade students is. I strongly urge you to read the following ‘copy and paste’ and pass along the information you deem worthy. Thank you. 

Peace, ~v.

PARCC Can Go Scratch! Please Re-Post on your Blog. Share Widely.

Posted on May 15, 2016 by GatorBonBC

The PARCC Test: Exposed
The author of this blog posting is a public school teacher who will remain anonymous.
I will not reveal my district or my role due to the intense legal ramifications for exercising my Constitutional First Amendment rights in a public forum. I was compelled to sign a security form that stated I would not be “Revealing or discussing passages or test items with anyone, including students and school staff, through verbal exchange, email, social media, or any other form of communication” as this would be considered a “Security Breach.” In response to this demand, I can only ask — whom are we protecting?
There are layers of not-so-subtle issues that need to be aired as a result of national and state testing policies that are dominating children’s lives in America. As any well prepared educator knows, curriculum planning and teaching requires knowing how you will assess your students and planning backwards from that knowledge. If teachers are unable to examine and discuss the summative assessment for their students, how can they plan their instruction? Yet, that very question assumes that this test is something worth planning for. The fact is that schools that try to plan their curriculum exclusively to prepare students for this test are ignoring the body of educational research that tells us how children learn, and how to create developmentally appropriate activities to engage students in the act of learning. This article will attempt to provide evidence for these claims as a snapshot of what is happening as a result of current policies.
The PARCC test is developmentally inappropriate
In order to discuss the claim that the PARCC test is “developmentally inappropriate,” examine three of the most recent PARCC 4th grade items.
A book leveling system, designed by Fountas and Pinnell, was made “more rigorous” in order to match the Common Core State Standards. These newly updated benchmarks state that 4th Graders should be reading at a Level S by the end of the year in order to be considered reading “on grade level.” [Celia’s note: I do not endorse leveling books or readers, nor do I think it appropriate that all 9 year olds should be reading a Level S book to be thought of as making good progress.]
The PARCC, which is supposedly a test of the Common Core State Standards, appears to have taken liberties with regard to grade level texts. For example, on the Spring 2016 PARCC for 4th Graders, students were expected to read an excerpt from Shark Life: True Stories about Sharks and the Sea by Peter Benchley and Karen Wojtyla. According to Scholastic, this text is at an interest level for Grades 9–12, and at a 7th Grade reading level. The Lexile measure is 1020L, which is most often found in texts that are written for middle school, and according to Scholastic’s own conversion chart would be equivalent to a 6th grade benchmark around W, X, or Y (using the same Fountas and Pinnell scale).
Even by the reform movement’s own standards, according to MetaMetrics’ reference material on Text Complexity Grade Bands and Lexile Bands, the newly CCSS aligned “Stretch” lexile level of 1020 falls in the 6–8 grade range. This begs the question, what is the purpose of standardizing text complexity bands if testing companies do not have to adhere to them? Also, what is the purpose of a standardized test that surpasses agreed-upon lexile levels?
So, right out of the gate, 4th graders are being asked to read and respond to texts that are two grade levels above the recommended benchmark. After they struggle through difficult texts with advanced vocabulary and nuanced sentence structures, they then have to answer multiple choice questions that are, by design, intended to distract students with answers that appear to be correct except for some technicality.
Finally, students must synthesize two or three of these advanced texts and compose an original essay. The ELA portion of the PARCC takes three days, and each day includes a new essay prompt based on multiple texts. These are the prompts from the 2016 Spring PARCC exam for 4th Graders along with my analysis of why these prompts do not reflect the true intention of the Common Core State Standards.
ELA 4th Grade Prompt #1
Refer to the passage from “Emergency on the Mountain” and the poem “Mountains.” Then answer question 7.
Think about how the structural elements in the passage from “Emergency on the Mountain” differ from the structural elements in the poem “Mountains.”
Write an essay that explains the differences in the structural elements between the passage and the poem. Be sure to include specific examples from both texts to support your response.
The above prompt probably attempts to assess the Common Core standard RL.4.5: “Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.”
However, the Common Core State Standards for writing do not require students to write essays comparing the text structures of different genres. The Grade 4 CCSS for writing about reading demand that students write about characters, settings, and events in literature, or that they write about how authors support their points in informational texts. Nowhere in the standards are students asked to write comparative essays on the structures of writing. The reading standards ask students to “explain” structural elements, but not in writing. There is a huge developmental leap between explaining something and writing an analytical essay about it. [Celia’s note: The entire enterprise of analyzing text structures in elementary school — a 1940’s and 50’s college English approach called “New Criticism” — is ridiculous for 9 year olds anyway.]
The PARCC does not assess what it attempts to assess
ELA 4th Grade Prompt #2
Refer to the passages from “Great White Shark” and Face the Sharks. Then answer question 20.
Using details and images in the passages from “Great White Sharks” and Face to Face with Sharks, write an essay that describes the characteristics of white sharks.
It would be a stretch to say that this question assesses CCSS W.4.9.B: “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.”
In fact, this prompt assesses a student’s ability to research a topic across sources and write a research-based essay that synthesizes facts from both articles. Even CCSS W.4.7, “Conduct research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic,” does not demand that students compile information from different sources to create an essay. The closest the standards come to demanding this sort of work is in the reading standards; CCSS RI.4.9 says: “Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.” Fine. One could argue that this PARCC prompt assesses CCSS RI.4.9.
However, the fact that the texts presented for students to “use” for the essay are at a middle school reading level automatically disqualifies this essay prompt from being able to assess what it attempts to assess. (It is like trying to assess children’s math computational skills by embedding them in a word problem with words that the child cannot read.)
ELA 4th Grade Prompt #3
In “Sadako’s Secret,” the narrator reveals Sadako’s thoughts and feelings while telling the story. The narrator also includes dialogue and actions between Sadako and her family. Using these details, write a story about what happens next year when Sadako tries out for the junior high track team. Include not only Sadako’s actions and feelings but also her family’s reaction and feelings in your story.
Nowhere, and I mean nowhere in the Common Core State Standards is there a demand for students to read a narrative and then use the details from that text to write a new story based on a prompt. That is a new pseudo-genre called “Prose Constructed Response” by the PARCC creators, and it is 100% not aligned to the CCSS. Not to mention, why are 4th Graders being asked to write about trying out for the junior high track team? This demand defies their experiences and asks them to imagine a scenario that is well beyond their scope.
Clearly, these questions are poorly designed assessments of 4th graders CCSS learning. (We are setting aside the disagreements we have with those standards in the first place, and simply assessing the PARCC on its utility for measuring what it was intended to measure.)
Rather than debate the CCSS we instead want to expose the tragic reality of the countless public schools organizing their entire instruction around trying to raise students’ PARCC scores.
Without naming any names, I can tell you that schools are disregarding research-proven methods of literacy learning. The “wisdom” coming “down the pipeline” is that children need to be exposed to more complex texts because that is what PARCC demands of them. So children are being denied independent and guided reading time with texts of high interest and potential access and instead are handed texts that are much too hard (frustration level) all year long without ever being given the chance to grow as readers in their Zone of Proximal Development (pardon my reference to those pesky educational researchers like Vygotsky.)
So not only are students who are reading “on grade level” going to be frustrated by these so-called “complex texts,” but newcomers to the U.S. and English Language Learners and any student reading below the proficiency line will never learn the foundational skills they need, will never know the enjoyment of reading and writing from intrinsic motivation, and will, sadly, be denied the opportunity to become a critical reader and writer of media. Critical literacies are foundational for active participation in a democracy.
We can look carefully at one sample to examine the health of the entire system — such as testing a drop of water to assess the ocean. So too, we can use these three PARCC prompts to glimpse how the high stakes accountability system has deformed teaching and warped learning in many public schools across the United States.
In this sample, the system is pathetically failing a generation of children who deserve better, and when they are adults, they may not have the skills needed to engage as citizens and problem-solvers. So it is up to us, those of us who remember a better way and can imagine a way out, to make the case for stopping standardized tests like PARCC from corrupting the educational opportunities of so many of our children.


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March 4, 2015 Dear Readers, I recognize academic burnout when I see it.  Most, if not all of us, have had it a time or two in our lifetime.  I mean, let’s face it, from about the age of 4 or 5, upwards toward 18, we have an excess of compulsory school days in this country.  So yeah, at one time or another, even I, lover of school and all things academic, have had academic burnout.  It is what caused me to dropout of college after only 1 year.  However, by that time, I had been going to school for 14 years.  The thought of continuing another 2 was simply too much for me to take.  I recognize academic burnout. Unfortunately, I am seeing this phenomenon in my students.  “Ho-hum,” some of you might sigh, “it happens to the best of us.”  And indubitably, I would agree.  However, signs of academic burnout in 12 and 13 year-olds used to be few and far between, it was the exception, not the rule. When academic burnout hit me, at age 19, I emptied out my brain of anything and everything remotely school-y, I dropped out of the college scene, and I began working as a cashier at a convenience store.  Now granted, it was certainly not the academic accolades I had always dreamt of receiving, but I worked hard, I began raising my family, and I was a contributing member of society.  And truly, what more could society expect from this college drop-out? Eventually, and by eventually I mean 14 years later, I returned to school, earned a Secondary Education/English B.A, graduated with honors, and became the teacher I knew I was always meant to be. But that was me.  That was 19, 20 year-old me.  What path is there for a 12, 13 year-old academic burnout? Even as I say it, it sounds ludicrous, “12, 13 year-old academic burnout!”  But I’ve seen it; am seeing it.  And it breaks my heart.  It breaks my heart not because they will have an adverse effect on society, although chances are…  No, it breaks my heart because the joy of learning has all been sucked out of education and out of my students’ lives, if in fact, it was ever there to begin with. My students cannot recall a time in their education when they weren’t being tested to death.  And that, dear Readers, breaks my heart. This past Tuesday marked the 21st instructional day my students have given up to testing.  Wait, scratch that; the 21st instructional day that has been stolen from my students.  Of the mere 51 school days so far this year, my students have slogged through 8 Common Formative Assessments (CFAs), 8 re-take CFAs, 4 days of Galileo Summative Assessments, and now, the ACT Explore.  The 16 CFAs to gauge how well they grasped the content of the individual standards, the 4 days of Galileo to gauge how well they grasped the content of the individual standards, and the ACT as a pre-cursor as to how well they should expect to do on their college entrance exam!  Seriously?  Seriously. As I walked up and down the rows of 8th graders, I wanted them to act out, act up, act indignant, act insulted, act like they were mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore.  Admittedly, all they could do was act lethargic.  And sadly, that was no act.  21 of my students’ 51 school days have been eaten up with testing.  A full 41% of their time under my tutelage has been snatched away because of testing.  Almost every other day.  Testing. Today, and I’m no social scientist here, but today’s junior high school students are exhibiting signs of academic burnout so frequently as to be considered normal.  Is this what we, as a nation, are striving for?  Is this the goal of our education communities?  Is this how academia as we know it will end, not with a bang, but with a whimper?  Say it ain’t so, Joe, say it ain’t so.  Peace, ~v.

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Does My Child Meet, Exceed, or Fall Far Below the Standard? Part II

May 2, 2014

Dear Readers,

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.











Does My Child Meet, Exceed, or Fall Far Below the Standard?

May 1, 2014

Dear Readers,

Happy May Day!  Ok, enough celebration; back to the rigors of, “How is my child progressing in school?”  aka Standardized Testing.  Funny thing is, parents used to simply talk to the teacher.  Oh wait, I forgot, teachers are union-loving ne’er-do-wells who rest on their laurels because they can’t get fired, at least the tenured ones.  What could they possibly tell a parent about how well little Susie or little Johnny is progressing in the classroom?  Turns out, quite a bit actually.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a very dear friend of mine whom I have known for close to 40 years; she is also a teacher.  Included in the message were suggestions on how to keep your mind and body alert and engaged during the testing sessions that we were about to partake.  Let me explain.  It falls on teachers to administer and proctor standardized tests.  Now, this may sound like a walk in the park, I assure you, it is not.

Here was my role in this past session’s testing:

We had four days of testing.  Testing ran from 7:30am until 11:30am with one 15 minute break from 9:15am until 9:30am.  During the sessions, I am not allowed to sit, talk, read a book, listen to Pandora, go to the restroom, eat, drink, or answer student questions with anything other than, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”  What I can do, what I must do, is continually walk up and down the rows of students, glancing at their tests to make sure they are progressing through the test and that all the little bubbles are completely darkened and there are no stray marks from any number 2 pencils anywhere on the answer sheets.  Obviously, the difficulty lies in keeping both your brain and your body alert so that you do not (gasp!), sit down.  Thus, possibly invalidating the testing session.

Here is what I did to stay alert:

I was in a testing session with approximately 135 8th grade students.  Most of my 80 or so students were in the same session.  As I walked up and down the looooong rows of students (we were in a hallway of one of school buildings), I wrote down a two or three word phrase to describe each of my students.  I had two rules for this game.  1.  It has to be a positive description. and 2.  It must perfectly encapsulate the student.  For example, Untamed Adventurer is the description I chose for one young man who cannot sit still, has to make noise, and who goes to great lengths to keep me off track in my lessons during class.  We have had a few run-ins, nothing major, and it would be easy to describe him as Unruly Kid.  But, that wouldn’t capture who he really is.  Untamed Adventurer fits him perfectly.

PH has all the qualities of someone seeking adventure, you can see it in the sparkle in his eyes and the impish grin on his face.  His energy is palpable, he is just itching to let loose.  He is a wild mustang, yearning to run, stopping only long enough to catch his breath and then it’s off to the next adventure.  He slows down for nothing and no one.  Ahh, but this causes him to inadvertently run into fences.  When he runs into a fence, he hits it, full force, never slowing down.  He plows through the fence, never thinking of the consequences, only thinking of the adventure of the flight.  Sometimes he hurts the fence, sometimes he hurts himself.  It is of no consequence, he thinks, he will mend and tomorrow he will be off to the next adventure.  See what I mean, untamed.  He has yet to learn what every great adventurer must learn:  being reckless will get you killed.

As I was walking up and down the rows of students, thoughts such as those would play in my head as I put each of my students, individually, in my mind and let who they are speak to me.  I started this game out of sheer boredom, but it became important to me.  It became important because I want to know my students, really know my students.  I’m sure some of you dear Readers want to know how my little game has anything to do with my being able to measure my students’ abilities and progress insofar as language arts is concerned.  Well, I put to you that my assessment is much more accurate and worthwhile than any standardized test.

If I were to give PH’s parents the results of my assessments, in addition to what I said above, I would tell them that the untamed part of PH is what gets in the way of his academic progress.  He is by no means lazy and he can certainly understand the concepts of the English language better than the average 8th grade student.  He is very good at reasoning out a problem, making inferences and accurately determining what motivates characters in a story to do what they do.  In the not-so-distant future, these skills will allow Untamed Adventurer to assess both situations and people to determine if they are what is in his best interest.  They will allow him to focus on crafting a response to a writing prompt, because this is where Untamed Adventure needs more practice.  His writing skills are a little lower than average because he does not like to practice putting his thoughts down on paper.  And although he is adept at verbal communication, Untamed Adventurer needs to be reminded that a carefully crafted, written argument is much better at swaying opinions. PH is currently reading above grade level and he is writing just at grade level.

This next year will be critical in PH’s So, what will Untamed Adventurer’s standardized test scores tell his parents?  I am almost certain that his test results will indicate that he Exceeds the Standard in both reading and writing.  And, if that is all that parents need to ensure their child is making adequate yearly progress and I am doing my job as his Language Arts teacher, that is ok with me.  Me?  As a parent?  I’d rather have a report on the whole child.  Read my blog tomorrow as I contrast Untamed Adventurer’s Exceeds the Standard with another student in my class, Compassionate Leader’s Exceeds the Standard.  The State of Arizona will issue the same marks for these two students, but, are they both on equal footing as they make their way to the biggest “test” of their lives, high school?  Hmmm, we shall see.  Peace, ~v.

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Phasing Out AIMS: An Arizona Parent’s Guide

April 30, 2014

Dear Readers,

Arizona students across the Grand Canyon state are finally coming out of their AIMS induced stupor and getting back to the business of learning.  Meanwhile, the high stakes test itself, Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS), is well on its way to being phased out.  Not to worry, there is another high stakes test just waiting to take its place.  But what does this transition period mean for Arizona students?  And parents, how does this affect the future of your child’s education?  I’m glad you asked.

Arizona Graduating Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 

Students are required to pass the AIMS HS Writing, Reading, and Mathematics test in order to graduate from an AZ public school.  This requirement was first effective for the 2006 graduating class.  This requirement will remain in effect only up until the students graduating through the class of 2016.

Students have several opportunities to pass the three required tests beginning in their sophomore year in high school.  Students are able to retake the tests once each fall and spring, until graduation.

What parents and students may not know is that there are alternative methods for meeting the AIMS high school graduation requirement for those students who do not earn passing scores on all three tests.

The Alternative Methods can be found here and here.   There are several alternative methods available and each requires very specific criteria.  Should this be something you would want to look into, my suggestion is for you to take a look at the web site, as I would not be able to do justice with any short and quick explanation.

Arizona Graduating Classes of 2017 and Later

Congratulations!  You are not required to pass AIMS in order to graduate from an AZ public school.  But, wait, this may not be such a good thing.  You can almost bet that this high stakes requirement will be replaced by another high stakes requirement in the very near future.  So, do not, I repeat, do not get lulled into thinking that you are home free.

Additional Help

There are several web sites willing to answer any questions parents and/or students may have.  However, I have found the AZ Department of Education website to be the most complete, accurate, and user friendly site to navigate.  You can start here or here


  • AIMS High School is a requirement to graduate from an AZ public school through the class of 2016
  • There are alternative methods to graduate should a student not pass all three tests
  • Graduating classes 2017 and later do not have to pass AIMS HS to graduate
  • There is a good chance that students graduating 2017 and later will be required to take another high stakes test

I hope this information finds its way into the homes of those that need it.  If you know someone who could use this information, please, pass it along.  Thanks.  Peace, ~v.


PARCC It Right Here

April 1, 2014

Dear Readers,

It has been far too long; my humble apologies. Although quite a bit has happened to me, I write today because I must speak out. Today is about opting out.
I have calculated and done the math. By the end of this school year, my 8th grade language arts students will have spent 64% of their time in my class either preparing and/or taking a standardized test that has absolutely no bearing on their grades, their futures, or their abilities. Yesterday was one such day.
My first hour class was chosen to field test a new high stakes, standardized test. It was a disaster. We had been on spring break for the two weeks prior, the students were not informed and I was given the testing instructions only 30 minutes before I was to administer the test. In addition, the computers with which the students had to test, were not charged. Subsequently, we had to switch to a computer lab that did not have the proper software downloaded. And that was just the start.
I was flying blind, as were my students. By the end of the period, 80 minutes later, my students had still not been able to log onto the computers to start their tests. This did not deter the powers that be. I was told to go to my next class while my students stayed in the lab and waited until the bugs were worked out and then they would test. By lunchtime, they still had not taken their tests.
Truth be told, I was not informed of the outcome of this fiasco until this morning. Most of my students patiently waited and tried their best on the test because as one student put it, “I wanted you to be proud of me, Miss.”. And of course I was proud of them. However, I couldn’t help but shed tears of joy when one of my students told me he refused to take the test. He informed the principal who then called his father. My student informed his father what the test was for and that it would not have any effect on his grade. His father backed-up his decision. Unfortunately, the principal had expected my student’s father to back her up. Needless to say, my student was reprimanded by the principal even after the phone call home. Really?
I was in for an even bigger surprise. My student wanted to know how he could, “opt out” of the AIMS (Arizona’s high stakes test that is obsolete for my students). I printed off an opt out letter for him to take home to his parents and I included my home phone number in case they had any questions. With any luck, this will start a trend. I truly hope so. Peace, ~v.


A Wing and a Prayer


Yes, my students work.

Yes, my students work.

December 10, 2013

Dear Readers,

It’s test time, again…still?  I forget which.  Well, whichever, my students are testing.  And testing and testing.  In fact, December school days are filled with assessment after assessment for my students.  This bothers and upsets me, dear Readers.  But, perhaps not for the reasons you may think.

At some point in the very near future, the federal government is looking forward to the state of Arizona using students’ test scores, in part, to evaluate teachers.  I can’t wait.  Nothing like putting your future in the hands of a bunch of 13 year-olds.  I’m not saying that I shouldn’t be held accountable for how well I teach.  I’m just saying that my accountability shouldn’t rest with the whims of my students.

I love my students.  But, I know my students.  The federal government does not know my students.  The public, at large, would like to believe that all a student needs to ensure high test scores is a good teacher, the truth is certainly more messy.  I  can teach and I can re-teach.  I can inspire and I can desire to do more.  But the truth of the matter is, 13 year-olds are moody.  Think about it, I have worked all quarter long to teach my students the standards.  And when that didn’t work, I worked even harder to re-teach the standards.  I feel I’ve come a long way.  But sure enough, come test day, as we gather in the computer lab, at least two students will be absent, three will insist that they just have to go to the restroom, of whom, one never returns, and several will fly through their test just so they can use the remaining time to play games on the internet that they don’t have access to at home.  Yeah, they’re going to do well.

I’m kidding!  Of course they are going to do well.  None of that stuff ever happens, I’m just making it up.  Teenagers are not fickle creatures.  Teenagers are not ruled by their emotions.  This is where my worrying comes in.  Students who test every school day in December are bound to get fed up with testing.  Students who get fed up with testing are bound to get moody.  Students who get moody are bound to…well, that would never happen.

I am going to continue to be a good teacher.  I am going to continue to be an effective teacher.  I am going to continue to believe, heart and soul, in my students.  I am just going to have to continue to make sure that my worth as a teacher doesn’t rest on a wing and a prayer.  Peace, ~v.