Tuesday, March 11, 2008

still lookin...

We give our 3rd nine-week tests next week. I start reviewing for my test tomorrow (the test is next Thursday.) I've been teaching my butt off for the last 6 months, and we're down to one nine-week term before my students have to take an SOL. Things that make me go "AAARRRGGGHHH!!!"

This morning, right after homeroom, the head ptb comes up to me in the hall and says, "I have to talk to you." What does he want to talk about? Mid-term grades. Grades that I turned in to guidance over 3 weeks ago. Grades that were, for the most part, pretty miserable. He starts asking me questions (as my period 2 class starts without me) about how I'm delivering instruction. "Do you give guided notes?" "Do you use technology?" "Do you contact parents?" "Are you differentiating instruction?" Yes - Yes - Yes - and Yes. He ends with the promise that they (ptb) will be in to observe more often, and try to help me 'get a handle on' my failing students. Gee, thanks.

So, true to his word - 6th period, in comes an assistant ptb to observe. This class is pretty pitiful - all but 2 students have a 'D' or 'F'. All but 3 students have the read-aloud accommodation for testing, meaning they don't read or comprehend written text on grade level. Not only that - their reading comprehension is probably lower for nonfiction text. They have no study skills, they have no test-taking skills, they don't like to do homework (and often don't), and they don't understand why they are doing poorly in my class! The observation goes OK, I guess. Just a few minutes ago, I spoke with the observing ptb and he assures me that I am a good teacher. And he assures me that they (ptb) are aware the students aren't failing because of me.

Whew, I feel better...

Yeah, no, not really.