Husband: “They have another test?”
Me: “A bubble test. They’re not ready either.”
Husband: “How can they be? All they ever do is take tests.”
Me: “I have to give it. Everybody does. It’s required. Most of them will fail this one too.”
Husband: “I never experienced it, but I can imagine how that feels, failing all of the time. I’d want to get out of school as fast as I could.”
Eduhonesty: I’d say my spouse nailed it in a few short sentences. These kids are on a rollercoaster of nonstop failures and, at this rate, I expect kids at the bottom to opt out of school as soon as they are allowed to do so. I sure would.
I am so tired of giving inappropriate tests for which my class is not ready. Please don’t misunderstand. I am teaching as fast as I can. I am tutoring at odd hours and on the weekend. I don’t control the material I am required to present, however, and I don’t write the tests that I am required to give pretty much on schedule. The whole grade has been put on this schedule — special education, bilingual, and regular classes alike. But the truth is that when a student enters a math class at a third grade level (true for all but one student in one of my classes) then seventh grade math is going to clobber that student. We are giving my students seventh grade math. Many of them are going down for the count and I don’t know how much longer they are going to try to get up.
I need to observe that a few kids are hanging in with me, those who come to tutoring and those who have some knack for mathematics. But the majority are lost. The majority need to be led, hands held through every step of processes that remain baffling at path’s end. We are told to differentiate. There is no differentiation that can make 3(2x + 4) + 5x -5 = 180 intelligible to a kid that does not understand 5(x +2). We need to go back, and pretty far back, to lay foundations for these kids.
True differentiation requires meeting students where they are at, moving them into the next level above their understanding, but no time has been allotted for this remedial work other than scattered tutoring hours. Testing hours are also taking a great deal of regular classroom time that becomes unavailable for instruction. In many cases, that compromised instruction and those tutoring hours might as well be band-aids on third-degree burns.
They’re lost, I’m exhausted, and this is stupid. Enough said.