I suspect that by April many of us are victims of the all too common phenomenon of teacher burnout, at least on some level. It’s not a joke – it’s real – and we don’t talk about it here bc it can be so personal. We don’t know why, but we spend April and May kind of crawling to June.
Let’s not do that. Let’s understand that by the time standardized testing hit in the spring, most school buildings have lost any sense of play and lightheartedness. It’s the way the system works and why summer break is not an option and why schools aren’t open full time like businesses are all year. It’s emotionally too hard for everyone.
So we need to continue our focus on the only standard that is real – the Communication Standard – and how to teach to it and how to bring it into our assessment, as well as continuing to focus on best CI practices, but we can’t forget now as we end the year to also focus on the kids. They can never get enough approval. (Nor can we.)
I enjoy the kids. I throw a nerf football around with them between classes and sometimes in class. We try to laugh during our brain breaks. I keep the CI focus simple in my classes because they are too young and fragile for the academic thing. We can never lighten up enough on our kids.
(If you raised an eyebrow as you read that last sentence you may want to think about why. The hard work we call rigor is in CI classrooms characterized by a remarkable lightness.)
This is the greatest ill of end of the year standardized testing – what we call the TCAP in Colorado – it takes the kids out of the equation. It turns them into robots. If adults had to take TCAP, they wouldn’t. We can’t afford to do this much longer. All my years of teaching, and I am only finding this out at the end. All these years, I thought it was all so serious. Dang.