Friday, May 24, 2013

job. house. test scores.

Today is May 24th, the eve of Memorial Day weekend, and I have the writing itch.  There seems to be so much happening lately, and if I were living in Honduras or Mexico, I would have been documenting every step.  Funny how I talk myself out of blogging now that I'm back.  But, right now it's either blog, or grade papers, or otherwise attack another item on my to-do list.  So, I choose blog.  

So, what's happening?  

I got a new job.
English: An apple.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm still a teacher.  I'm still in a public school in the same county.  But I just got a job offer at a school in the town we're hoping to move to soon. I'll be teaching a third grade, dual-language class.  I still have a lot to learn about how they do things, exactly, but the basic idea is that a Spanish teacher and an English teacher are kind of a unit.  There is a class of English speakers and a class of Spanish speakers.  Throughout the day, I'll start with the English speakers, then they'll rotate and I will get the Spanish speakers for a language arts lesson. Then for math, the kids are split and they'll do math in Spanish one day and English the next.  It's a magnet program in our district, and an awesome one if you ask me.  I think all schools should be dual language and all of our kids should be learning two languages from Kindergarten on. 
So, it looks like I'm going to be a third-grade teacher for the rest of my life.  This will be my 7th year teaching third grade.  Wow, that's a lot!

We might be buying a house.
English: for sale sign
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though we know very little about how this all works, and we're still, essentially, poor.  However, we're heading in this direction. And hopefully this happens before needing to sign another lease for a year.

We got the FCAT scores today.

FCAT official blue logo

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's the day I've been dreading all year.  I knew that the vast majority of my students were significantly below grade level and many were quite new to the country.  I knew that, being the ESOL sheltered group, miracles weren't expected from many of my kids.  But, let me just admit that I cried today after seeing my students' scores.  I think, deep down, I hoped that I had somehow transmitted some amount of genius into my kiddos...or that they would realize the weight of the situation in the moment and put to use every one of the expansive list of test-taking strategies we had drilled into them all year.  But many of them, really, were just too far behind to catch up to the level they should be at.  Others seem to have just bombed it.  
In case you don't know.  Third graders must pass the FCAT in order to move on to fourth grade.  There are certain clauses that can get kids through if they don't pass, however, such as being an English speaker for less than 2 years or having certain learning disabilities.  Due to these clauses, a few of my kids who failed are guaranteed to move on.  And...well....enough of that.  No need to stretch today's bad news into the weekend. 

I'm going to start doing something relaxing for Memorial Day weekend. Maybe watch some Downton Abby, since everyone talks about it!  
Happy long weekend!

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