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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

ratings and drills

We have been back at school for 2 days now, and I have to say, they have been 2 pretty good days. One of the things that has made them really great -- and I know, it's horrible, I'm going someplace in a handbasket, it's very un-teacherly of me to say, yada yada yada -- is that my biggest problem child has left the building. "Timmy" didn't come to school yesterday (and there was much rejoicing), and his mom arrived this morning with the withdrawal papers. Having Timmy in class was like having 5 ADHD rabid wolverines in class, but with worse social skills. I wish him well in life, but I would be lying if I said I was sorry to see him go.

Tomorrow, the meterologists are predicting snow and temperatures in the teens. Today was right around 33 degrees. Today we had a fire drill. I remembered to grab all the stuff they make us grab -- grade book, information sheets, routes -- but I didn't remember to grab my coat. It was NOT a pleasant 6 minutes outside.

At our staff meeting on Monday, we were told about "S.M.A.R.T. Goals" and asked to create a few. I don't remember what all of the initials in the acronym stand for, except that the R stands for "realistic." My school district expects us to have a 90% passing rate on all subjects from all children by the end of this year on the TAKS. I propose that this is a S.M.A.T. Goal -- with apologies to my Boston readers.

Our math coach gave us a list of school ratings and the passing rates required to meet each rating. 60% passing will get us labeled "Acceptable." 80% gets us "Recognized." 90% gets us the coveted "Exemplary."

I say why not shoot for the moon? Is even Exemplary really what we want to aim for? I have crafted my own SMAT Goal -- I will get us a rating of "Effing Outrageous" by having 115% of my kids pass every subject.

Check back in June...

8 comments:

Christy (Columbia Lily) said...

aah TAKS. damn goals. written by people who think schools are like factories, where you can toss out all the misshapen, unripe, pieces - resulting in a perfect product. To them I say, come teach in my classroom for one week. I dare you.

Teacher Tom said...

Preach it, Christy!

Anonymous said...

When my "Timmy" left to a different district, I tried my best to not look giddy and told him that I wished him the best (and I really do). I went to my class and told them the news, expecting the same "awww" as when another sweet little classmate left....BUT instead they let out the biggest CHEER! Kinder kids are so honest :)

Teacher Tom said...

My "Timmy" was a kid who used to run around the classroom slugging and shoving the other kids. He was only 3, which makes a certain amount of this behavior normal, but he was way over the top. I basically spent my mornings shadowing him or assigning another adult to do it.

His mother finally withdrew him from the school because, "The other kids are excluding him."

Anonymous Joe said...

Like that old saying goes...those who can, teach...those who can't teach, are in the central office

TeacherFromTN said...

My little Timmys always leave the summer before fourth grade (I teach 3rd)! The mother of my Timmy from last year apologized to me recently because they finally got him on the "right" medication this year. She was so sorry that I had to put up with him for nine months without his meds!!!

Our second day of the SACS re-accreditation visit was this morning--I met with the team as chair of the Leadership Team. One of their first questions was how we use SMART goals!

Oh, and we were dismissed an hour early today IN ANTICIPATION of snow! Pretty cool to be home in my jammies instead of doing after school scut work!

kherbert said...

You forgot not only do you need 90% of your kids to pass. YOu need 90% of each individual sub pop to pass. We keep missing by .4 of a point.

Mister Teacher said...

kherbert, I didn't mention the subpop status because it really is not an issue at my school. You say you miss it by 4 tenths; we miss it by 400 tenths...

Christy, we both know they would never accept that challenge...

TN Teacher, we didn't have any snow so our schools didn't close, but it took me an hour to get to school this morning on icy roads. The wind chill tomorrow morning is supposed to be -1!!

Tom, I tend to "exclude" people who hit and bother me too...