Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Day 113: A Non-Day
After the dark, gloomy, depressing picture yesterday, I feel as though I needed a brighter, more cheerful one today. It worked with moderate success.
My geometry class was postponed so the students could take a computerized diagnostic test. This is a state test and, shockingly, the website wasn't working properly. What do my geometry students do while waiting for a standardized test site to start working?
Browse pictures of Doctor Who gear
Play zombie-killing games
Practice math (on Think Through Math)
Read my blog.
The site finally started working and they plugged along very well.
My pre-algebra students are also doing the test, but due to infrastructure and logistical issues, only half of them can take it at a time. The math coach and I split the two classes in half with the first half of the alphabet taking the test today while I work on content with the other half. Tomorrow, the groups will switch.
Progress reports got issued today. That means that students who have been sleeping, or talking, or dancing, or singing, are suddenly DEEPLY concerned about getting their grades up.
This used to make me irate. You want to sleep in my class and now all of a sudden, I should go out of my way to help you boost your grade so you can go back to sleep tomorrow? I don't think so!
Now, it makes me sad. My concern now is more that these students very clearly don't care about the learning at all. They don't even care about the grades beyond how they may or may not be yelled at for those grades.
A large portion of my students do very little throughout the marking period, followed by furious bursts of work, tears, screams of frustration, clumps of torn-out hair and cries of "THIS IS TOO MUCH!"
Of COURSE it's too much! You're trying to learn 9 weeks worth of material in 2 days! I give them analogies about practicing sports, or musical instruments, or going to the gym, to express the importance of doing a little each day, but they never believe me. Then, at the end of the marking period when a ton of work has to be done to make stuff up, it's overwhelming and they shut down.
Then, my period 8/9 had a farting competition. I'm done with today.
On a more positive note, I received an email from a concerned parent this morning. She was very upset about her son's grade and my lack of assignments in the gradebook. It felt as though she was looking for someone to blame. After several exchanges back and forth, she thanked me for my responses, I reassured her of my commitment to her son's education and thanked her for contacting me with her concerns.