No parties allowed

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I printed the pertinent page from my email to show the kids. I don’t want them to blame me for this. We are not allowed any class parties on December 19th, the last day before break. I’m not sure how secret Santa will be managed. I will have to talk with my coworker who mostly set this up.

This morning, I also printed the twelve pages of lesson plans for the week since I like to have a copy on my desk. I have been grading my standardized test, and grading and grading and grading that test, so I didn’t have time to print the lesson plans yesterday. I’ve had zero time to prepare a study guide for the quarter exam in science. I am going to use the eight-page test as a study guide. I’ve already cleverly whited-out the part that would tell them they are receiving the actual test. If they listen and study what I hand them, they should ace this test. I’d really like some fun games for this week, a little grouping-like-terms Jeopardy. But I’ve had zero prep time available for actual lesson planning so far. I may be able to steal a game or two from a colleague. We have one more standardized test to give this week, though — I kid you not, I have the bubble sheets — as well as two tests, including the 8-page science final. I still have make-up tests to give from last week’s standardized test, too.

Let me note that last week’s standardized test and this week’s standardized test are being used to gather data by the administration. Only one of these tests factors into my grades. My tests are supposed to factor into my grades, with students allowed to retake tests to boost scores. Only if you did not come on Saturday, you are in trouble. I have no time to give these tests again. I can do this after school, but yesterday I was busy with standardized test grading. I managed to give one girl a solid half hour of my time so that she could redo a project. I got three others who essentially wasted that hour after school to agree to come in again today.

But “failure documentation” is due tomorrow. That will take the whole evening to prepare easily. I am trying not to cut too much sleep since I don’t want to get sick for the holidays. So many kids in the school are walking around sick right now. I guess the life lesson for my students will be this: Don’t plan to try to get help at the last minute, because the teacher will have no time available to use to help you. Her documentation needs are going to leave you on your own.

Eduhonesty: This post was typed as fast I could type. But I want to get this stuff down. Maybe later I’ll clean it up. Fundamentally, the time demands for this week contain an impossible number of items to get done, mostly due to test demands. These demands are compromising instruction, reteaching and learning. Reteaching? Hell, I don’t even have time to go over their failed tests with them. In the meantime, they can’t even have a single class party on the last day of the semester because they are not supposed to waste any instructional time.

Note to admin: You can’t cram 150 hours of work into 75 hours. You simply can’t. You can’t make students diligently work on the last day of the semester, either, for a variety of psychological reasons I can’t take time to go into. You might get some goodwill from a party. The way you are testing these guys, I guarantee that you will need a little goodwill to keep at least some of these students on track in the long run.