Monday, April 19, 2010

Family travels and TCAP testing...

Well, I thought I'd start with a couple of pictures from the weekend. We traveled with Andy's side of the family to Georgia for his grandmother's (MaMa's) 80th birthday. We ate at a really good catfish restaurant, spent good time with family, and Duncan puked ...all in two days! Here are a couple of pictures from the birthday celebration...

HAHA--I cannot look at this picture without laughing. First, the restaurant had bolted this thing to the building in such a way that a pole was right where Andy's head needed to go...and it looks like he has a nub for a hand. Then, check out my dangling arms...perhaps I should have folded them or something? Look for this one on our next Christmas card...classy, huh?

This picture really doesn't do Andy's mouth justice. We all ate the same birthday cake Saturday night; however, Andy's mouth turned completely green from the icing. It matched his shirt! I figured it would wear off soon enough...he's just a messy eater. :) Well, I'm sitting next to him in church the next morning and I look over at him and notice his lips are STILL green! I have no idea why no one else had the same problem...On that note, Duncan (beneath all of his fur), must have been looking rather green Sunday morning. He had been stealing cat food all weekend and managed to "get rid" of it all over the bed we had been sleeping in. Way to make a good second impression, bud!

Well, our first day is complete for TCAP testing...3 to go! Today the kids took the Reading/Language Arts portion. The two parts together took 2 hours and 16 minutes...ridiculous! I love how we force kids to take the longest and most trying part of the test on a Monday...intimidating, much?

Andy had helped me get the annual TCAP bags ready last night--complete with candy, gum, Kleenex, an eraser, and an inspirational message from me. I also had bottles of water for them and breakfast bars for anyone who didn't eat breakfast...can you tell that I REALLY wanted them to do well??? Needless to say, it was a very long morning. As one of my little ones said best, "My brain hurts, Mrs. Bozeman." Yes, I'm sure it did. However, mine hurts too with the thought that someone somewhere might think that these kids are somehow not smart enough or "with-it" enough simply based on a score. Or, someone somewhere might think that I am somehow less of a teacher if my students mark "A" instead of "B" on #3 on the test (you get what I mean). It seems really wrong that education has come to put so much weight on these tests. My kids have ALL learned in some way this year. As I told them this morning, I am already proud of them no matter how they do. I will never forget this group of kiddos and all they have gone through with me this year. The relationships that I have made with these guys is much more important than a "proficient" or "nonproficient" on a test. My prayer is that they have become better people because they were in my classroom. For me, that's all that really matters and that is how I judge my true effectiveness as an educator.

I will now willingly step down off my GIANT soapbox...these are just the thoughts that continually roll around in my head around this time of year. May this week pass quickly and painlessly! Thanks for listening...

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