The End is Near!

| Friday, April 16
So, this week at school has been horrible. It was the week of TCAPs, the Tennessee state tests. Four days of testing, the shortest test part was 45 minutes long. There are eight parts, four subjects, and a hell of a lot of bored kids. In the past, students were at least allowed to read a book when they finished the test. It was this way forever, as I remember that accommodation when I was in school. This year, the state Department of Ed decided that was no longer allowed.

Seriously? That means students who are brilliant and finish the science test, part one in 20 minutes and have 25 more to just sit there are gonna get really bored. I was so worried that the students would start to get disruptive when they finished. The group of kids I was testing was fairly obnoxious. Luckily I only had one or two problems on the first day. After that, they either took a nap or drew for the most part.

This week every year makes me remember how much I hate eighth grade students. We're not allowed to test students in our own grade level for security reasons. I can understand and respect that, but I really hate these kids by the time they reach eighth grade. It puts my desire to leave sixth grade in perspective. I appreciate my students so much more! Also, I've been driven to the desire to drink more this week than I have been in a looong time.

But honestly, sixth grade is not where I feel my teaching calling is. It never has been, but when you're fresh out of university, moved back in with Mom, looking for a job, you take what you can get. I've been teaching sixth grade for almost five school years now. (We're done in 5 weeks!) Some opportunities have presented themselves, so I'm applying for a transfer.

I had what I hope was a great interview at the elementary school next door yesterday. If I get the job, though, as the realization hit me this morning, I'll be going from teaching twelve-year-olds how to analyze characterization and write research papers to teaching five- or six-year-olds how to spell cat. Yes, I applied to transfer to kindergarten or first grade.

If this does happen, it will be a huge but fulfilling challenge, and I'm sure you'll get to read all about it! Sorry for the really random post, but it's been a stressful week,  and my brain is DRAINED!


TabithaVenasse said...

I hope this week will be less stressful for you.

Also, as much as you hate what you're doing right now, I have so much respect for you. I could never teach kids under the age of 16.

hermione329 said...

I hope you get the job. I am really hoping to move on to a new school next year. And a new state for that matter. I understand and appreciate standards, but this high stakes testing makes me want to vomit from stress, nervousness, and ridiculousness.

Kara said...

Thanks for the well-wishes gals! I'm having a slightly better week, with testing over, and the husband back in town, but the weather being crappy is making me feel super sleepy all the time.

Plus with the kids working on a big research project, I'm not exactly "actively" teaching over the next two weeks. They're obviously learning useful skills, though.

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