Is Anyone In There?

I was in a good mood when I arrived yesterday. Really I was.

Here’s just one of the problems:

A 35-question District Math Benchmark.  The test, a 60-minute multiple choice-MCAS style-complete with bubble sheets (! for THIRD GRADERS!!!!)-mind blower was supposed to have arrived on November 9. It didn’t. In fact, it arrived last Friday after the students were dismissed which was — let me see now — November 20.

Did that mean the deadline for administration of said test had changed. No it did not.  All results need to be transferred to “bubble sheets” for scanning and scoring by December 1 — which means ladies and gentlement that the test had to be administered Monday or: Tuesday of Thanksgiving Week OR Monday December 1.

REALITY CHECK PLEASE Does anyone really think third graders can focus on anything other than Thanksgiving this week?And who do you think will transfer those answers from the test booklets to a bubble sheet? If the children do this, I’ll need to stop what I had actually planned to do – something that was let’s say educational and based on the curriculum – to line by line teach children how to color in bubbles on an answer sheet. Seriously? Is this a good use of academic time?

No, the teacher can do this during the copious planning time during the day.  Or maybe you would  like to enter the data item by item on a nifty spreadsheet – one that croaks on the computer you are using.  Or perhaps you’d just as well take care of this at home?

So I was in a positive frame of mind yesterday, but it evaporated quickly. I’ve lost count of how many time-sucking and seemingly arbitrary interruptions blow through my day. Interruptions that take away from the joy of learning and teaching children.

Maybe today will be different.