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The Teacher Thread

StephenHero

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Happy Summer folks...last day for me was today. Just wanted to share this note I got from a graduating student, in case like me, a few reminders of why we do what we do help us along:

"Mr. R,

Oh lord, I'm going to miss you sooooooo much; there are no words to explain. You truly, TRULY were and are an incredible inspiration to me. You helped me do things I never thought I could. You and only you, really do make me feel like I Can be something, and make differences. I promise ill try my hardest to be someone, and make the best decisions for you and your family. You taught me very well and in a very different way than the average social studies teacher would. I mean not every hostory teacher would let us have a paper ball war, or teach us the importance and meaning in song lyrics the way you do. I feel like I've matured and grew in your class, and I want to make you proud. I really do. I want to thank you So much for everything; all the feed back, the award, and the note you wrote to me. All of it means so much to me and ill treasure it forever. I really hope you don't forget me, cause in 10 or 15 years from now; ill hopefully be something or someone, making the changes you want for your children, and making the differences you wish to see. And when I do accomplish something like that, I want you to be able to recognize me when I say that the person that lead me to make such differences was Mr. Rossicone. You brought out the side of me I never knew I had. You're just amazing and awesome in every way. You'll always be important to me. You're the only teacher and person that really makes me feel special, and like I'm capable of doing something big and important with my life. I love you mr. R, and I wish you and your family an amazing life; you deserve it."

If we can't get kids to spell at a fourth grade level by the time they're 18, I guess giving them the self-confidence to be the next Shakespeare is the next best thing.
 

CBrown85

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SH hasn't yet articulated his issue with teachers yet, but I'm assuming it's completely justified.
 

ryoneo

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Question for the teachers: Do you think being around kids all the time has slowed down your maturity? Or has it made you more responsible and mature? Do you see yourself acting different compared to adult similar to your age? Being around such young minds all the time must have some kind of an affect on adult brains.

I think that this is a great question. I think that being around my elementary school kids has definitely made me act more responsible in some ways. I try to be a good example and try to tone down some things. On the other hand, being around kids for a good part of the day, the conversations do not get very deep. So, I can see my maturity thought process depend on different situations/topics.
 

CBrown85

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Depends on what you're teaching and how you spend your free time. I've worked at many places were the discourse is notably lower than in a school full of children.
 

huojirab

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agree,the answers to the above 3 questions in relation to how the people saw themselves doing the job or wanted to do the job.
 
Last edited:

6up

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Hey Teachers......enjoy your summer off!

Plans? I will catch up on my reading(s) and got a few DIY projects on the go!
 

sarteaga

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Just found this today! Fellow teacher here, 9th Grade Global in a charter school in the South Bronx.
 

Mulan

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I've been reading post in this thread for a short time now, haven't read all of it(on pg 22), and I really like the discussions going on. I saw this recently, and thought it would be good for discussion.

 

CBrown85

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Standardised tests down there (US) as big a deal as they seem in the media?
 

FtRoyalty

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Standardised tests down there (US) as big a deal as they seem in the media?

Varies school to school, district to district. I currently teach in private, so we don't have standardized tests. However, we constantly hear about ACT/SAT scores (Side note: my state offers very lucrative scholarships for students who attend university in-state and have above certain GPAs and test scores). I also teach an AP class so I have those scores to worry about. Granted, I really just have to keep my score average at 3.0, which I haven't found to be too hard though I still push the kids to make 4s and 5s.

When I taught public, we were always reminded about state tests and getting kids to pass. I don't think anyone got fired for having low scores, but I've heard some teachers in some districts have it tougher than I did.

Whether or not standardized testing directlys affects an individual teacher or not, I think their existance (and how pedagogy is becoming based around it) has encouraged mediocrity. The standard is no longer strive and achieve but maintain and get by, and the latter is celebrated (pizza parties for classes where everyone passes by getting atleast a 70% or lower in some states). Last year, we had a lot of meetings/discussions about the middle 60%, those students who aren't failing and aren't achieving. Unfortunately, nothing really came out of those conversations.

I've found that telling the kids that passing is the minimum expectation and setting a tone that matches that expectaion early helps. I'm by no means draconian, but they're expected to work at a certain level. However, I also give the kids a chance to make up an assignment if they didn't do well on it though this lends itself to writing better than perhaps other discplines. This policy has saved me numerous headaches as no longer is the big bad teacher not letting the student earn a higher grade. It puts the responsibility back on the student.

Anyway, back to your question, testing is a aggrandized a bit, but it's an everpresent shadow in the corner of one's eye. The danger of testing is that the celebration of merely passing sets a low expectation IMO.

tl;dr
Passing the test should be the minimum expectation
Give the students the grade* they earn *(Make sure grading matches expectations)
Give students an opportunity to make up their work
 

CBrown85

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Who creates these tests? Who marks them? Which courses have them? Mandatory?
 

FtRoyalty

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1. States contract out their testing to various companies. There's usually a bidding process. I once applied for a job as a test writer. That particular companies had some contacts for a few Midwestern states.

Individual distracts also create their own benchmarks (usually assessed per quarter) to measure passing. There are others too but those are more at elementary (those poor kids get hit hard).


2. I think the majority use a computer, but there are probably some that still use pen and paper. Multiple choice tests are scanned.

3. Core classes. This label gets fuzzy but if a course is offered, it has a test or some sort of funding. Govt is going to pay for it unless there's an assessment.

4. Varies. Some states claim standards are too high, etc

Bottom line: Schools need to show progress. If not, students can transfer to better (making progress) school. If that doesn't help, the state will go in and restructure the school.
 

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