I have a number of drafts started for this blog. And some are sort of witty, funny, silly or just are my “unique” point of view. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like editing, revising, critiquing any of them tonight.
I spent most of my school day editing, revising and critiquing 88 freshmen essays. I now have officially forgotten how to spell, write and use punctuation correctly. It is as if I am seeing double – what should be on the paper and what actually is on the paper. This may be a good thing because what is actually on the paper may cause me to weep hysterically or run screaming from the entire profession.
Today was also a day of education politics. Apparently, the new trend in public education is this new, feisty phrase called “value-added.” This means that the teacher is ultimately and entirely responsible for how each student achieves based only on data from state standardized tests and other data sources “yet to be determined.” This in itself is frightening because a.) standardized tests are imperfect and b) the “other data sources yet to be determined” is suspiciously vague. I want all my students to do great in my classes, but how realistic is the expectation that teachers are responsible for students who have zero will to learn? Students who don’t care or even attend school on a regular basis? Students whose parents do not attend any conferences (or don’t even return phone calls)? Wowza. For more about this, see my soul sister’s blog brainvomit40.
I did not go into education to make the big bucks. None of us did. I very much love my job and I like teaching teenagers despite all of their quirks and drama. However, it is completely against my philosophy of education to measure each student by only standardized testing. What about imagination and creativity?
Tonight my mind is garbled with all of this. And, as I said, so many drafts, but too many other conflicting thoughts going through my mind to edit, revise or critique them. I think I am just going to finish my beer and – in the words of Donnie Brasco played by Johnny Depp – “forgetaboutit” tonight. Although I do have to wonder which lawmakers I need to send those 88 freshmen essays to. Maybe they will weep hysterically or run screaming from their professions. Or maybe they will see that creating cookie-cutter kids is not the way to go. Hmm.