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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Luxury TAKS

I was very relieved this morning when I walked into my classroom, and I didn't find any floods infernos, OR deadly carnage. I did have to deal with the alarm going off in my section of the building for about ten minutes (WARNING! WARNING! BURGLARY! LEAVE NOW! WARNING!), but I was still pleased to have a normal-looking space to come back to, so it was all good.
And the good got even better. We got the results of the TAKS back today, and my kids did really well! Out of the thirty-nine kids in my classes who took the test, thirty-four passed! For an inner-city Dallas school, and considering the group I had to work with this year, that is really... what's the word?
THAT'S PHENOMENAL!
I came home this evening, and celebrated in outrageous fashion. I went out and got a Super Mega Double Big Gulp of Mountain Dew (no longer measured in ounces -- now in gallons!), and then I went outside and mowed my lawn. Man, partying as a new homeowner really kind of sucks...
While still at the school, one of the other teachers suggested that the best way to tell the kids whether they passed the test or not would be to write the words YES and NO on a piece of paper, and then call the kids one at a time to where I was standing and cover up one of those words. So I gave that method a try. If the student passed, I left YES uncovered; if they failed, I left NO uncovered. Only in one instance did I feel the need for a third option -- WHAT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But, I allowed the simple NO to do its job.
Now I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. I'm proud of my kids. Now let's just hope they don't forget everything over the summer and enter the fourth grade saying, "What is this...mathemassics, is it?”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Always a great read, Mister.

Mister Teacher said...

Well thank you very much, but please step out of the shadows -- let me know who you are, where you're from! :)

Mrs. T said...

Just curious- what happens to the "NO" kids? Does a hidden hatch 'neath the floor open up, sending them hurtling into the Juicing Room and then they are discreetly escorted out by the Oompa Loompas? Do they repeat a grade? Are there wages garnished? Scarlet Letter? No tv for the rest of their lives?

Mrs. T said...

Oops- I mean "Are their wages garnished?"

Mister Teacher said...

No, nothing quite so dramatic. In third grade, reading is all that really matters -- at least according to No Child Left Behind. If they don't pass the reading test, they have to repeat the third grade (of course, they get THREE tries to pass it). But if they don't pass the math test, they just get a sympathetic wag of the head and the admonition to try harder next year.

oldteach said...

Big congratulations to you and your students! Somewhere along the line you must have taught them to care as well as do math.

Mister Teacher said...

Thank you, oldteach! I guess you're right, though I certainly couldn't pinpoint the moment it happened...