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Depressing News

September 22, 2010

The “emergency faculty meeting” was called on a Friday morning, which is quite unusual around these parts.  Traditional knowledge says that if you’re going to force the faculty into early arrival (read: 8am), it is generally in your best interest to avoid doing it on the first and last days of the week.  However, we all resigned ourselves to the unusual meeting and appeared in the media center at the designated time, as dutiful employees tend to do.

Never have I wished to miss a meeting more.  The first major blow came with the news that our school’s writing scores were the lowest in the district.  There are something like 40 middle schools in our district, so being the lowest of that is quite embarrassing.  Especially because when we initially got our personal scores back, I was beyond thrilled with the performance of our students.  I knew where the kids were when they entered my classroom and had watched them blossom into beautiful little writers.  Apparently their growth wasn’t enough to keep them up to par with every other budding little writer in the district.

As if that first bit of news wasn’t enough, the PowerPoint of Doom kept right on going.  Next was the news that we actually didn’t make it even halfway to the state-determined benchmark for our other subjects.  The assistant principal clicked through the slides.  My colleagues sucked in huge gulps of air with each click.  I felt tears well up.  No one spoke.

The meeting ended with a half-hearted pep talk from the leadership before everyone filed out while whispering in hushed tones.

The test scores will be released publicly over the next few days, and I just hope parents, students, and community members take this opportunity to help out, not lash out.  The fact is:  sometimes your best just isn’t good enough.  Now we’re left to try any desperate measure we can conjure up to ensure we don’t continue to fall lower this year.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    September 22, 2010 5:22 pm

    Remember you are an amazing teacher even when your best isn’t good enough for everyone else. I know how you feel and I send you love and encouragement. Love the grand big.

  2. September 28, 2010 9:01 pm

    That is so difficult. I know that you are working very hard to do your best, and I also hope that your community comes together to work together, rather than being overly negative. I read the posts that you wrote after this one about doing more workshop. Last year was my first year doing workshop, and I remember the great feeling of watching their pencils flying when the time for the writing assessment came. It worked really well to use the workshop format all year and to have a brief writing to a prompt as a genre unit right before the actual assessment. It was much shorter than a regular genre study, but it provided support for students to apply what they know about writing to a new set-up.

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