My advisory was pleasant today, despite the morning of testing. Not everyone reported the same. I gave them candy and played music. I figured they deserved the break. My last district had banned parties because they take away time from our relentless academic push. I thought that was a mistake (and I staged a couple of “cultural celebrations” which were remarkably like parties) because kids are not adults or robots. Especially in these unmotivated and undermotivated times, a little goodwill can go a long way. I can get kids to work for me who will not work for themselves. But I need leverage, rapport to fuel those efforts.
Eduhonesty: Push push push can push kids right out the door. The desperate fight for points needs to be leavened with earned rest — especially since many of America’s students don’t understand what they are working for. That test that administrators are panicking about? A number of their constituents don’t give a damn about any scores, having sensibly detached themselves from their personal test results as a direct consequence of never scoring well in the past. If we want to keep those students in the game, if we want them to give their best on the next of the endless tests, we need to reward them for their efforts along the way.