Thanking us all

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———- Forwarded message ———-
From: (An administrator sometimes referred to as Lord Vader)
Date: Wed, May 6, 2015 at 8:07 AM
Subject: Thank you
To: (A whole bunch of teachers including me)

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for their tremendous work and effort over the past couple weeks with MAP and PARCC testing. I know testing can be draining and everyone has been eager to get back to teaching. I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility with the scheduling changes. It hasn’t been easy, but we did it!

As I walked around this time for PARCC, I noticed that students were more focused and the energy of the room was more positive. I know that others who help support the relief efforts made the same comments. This is a true testament to the hard work that everyone has put in to motivate and teach our students.

Today, we will not be doing any make up testing (YAY!!!). I will be working on a schedule to get all our students done testing for PARCC. We will start tomorrow and hopefully finish by mid week next week.

Again, thank you for your hard work. Please be patient as student will be dismissed out of class to finish testing over the next couple days.

(The Sith Lord)

Eduhonesty: If those “couple of weeks” were the only weeks, this missive would not be noteworthy. But we are in our third bout of testing for AIMSWEB and MAP and our second bout of testing for PARCC. This does not include diagnostic tests from the outside consulting firm that are not counted in the grades, but that have been given regularly throughout the year.

Since PARCC finished yesterday, but the make-up schedule had not yet been created, I had a carpe diem moment this morning and seized the Chromebooks so students could take notes as Googledocs. Readers will know that the internet has been off-limits to students during these last few weeks because allowing too many students on the net sucks up our limited bandwidth, creating testing issues. Chromebooks have sat idle while students took the PARCC test, a slow process since that same limited bandwidth made it necessary to test groups grade by grade. On the plus side, YouTube returned a few days back. Not all streaming video is blocked now. I used the return of YouTube to reinforce today’s probability lesson. Sometimes an extra eight minutes of another voice saying what I said, but in a slightly different way, makes all the difference in terms of student understanding. I can reinforce my lesson without seeming repetitive.

I will be glad when PARCC is over-over. I hope to see the end of standardized testing by next Wednesday. Absences that lead to test make-ups lead to even more classroom make-ups, of course, since the absentees have to catch up on what they miss in class while they are taking their make-up tests.