Monday, May 19, 2008

Field Day Kicked My Butt

Our annual homage to all things physical started with the chicken dance in the gymnasium at 8:30 AM today. It didn't end until I danced to the mariachi band playing on the playground at 1:45 PM. We played hard today.

Oh yeah. Test scores came this afternoon, too. Only one surprise right out of left field. Creepy principal's daughter passed (BIG HURRAH) and my one kid who I lamented over endlessly passed, too. However, Bob Marley didn't make it through Math and neither did another one of my geniuses who hasn't got a lick of sense. The thing I discovered, though, was that 14 of the 17 kids who didn't make it through math this year were taught by the same teacher in the same class. We do math compacting, which is a fancy way of saying we departmentalize by ability. The majority of the kids who didn't pass were in the lowest class and were served by not one, but two, math teachers. I'm not sure what to say - because all of those kids who failed were not helping themselves - these were the ones who never did any work, who goofed off quite a bit and didn't have much parental support. Even my AP said that one of the kids in my homeroom who failed the math section spent more time playing and staying in trouble than he did worrying about working. Oh, yes. She was referring to Bob Marley.

And speaking of Bob, his mother made an appointment last Wednesday for a conference with the 5th grade team to see what could be done for him and his failing grades. (Are you kidding me?) We had eight days of school left when we had this conference. She reported to us that Bobby was an A/B student and that this was quite unusual for him. It was all that I could do to stay in my seat. I've seen the perm record. The only A s and B s in it are in his name.

Now come on. Bob isn't an A/B student and he isn't gifted. The other members of my team laid it on the line. He doesn't work. He thinks he can get by with his charm. He is lazy. He doesn't write down any assignments and he is completely unmotivated. I finally said that if he didn't pass the Big State Test, I was going to recommend that he be retained in the 5th grade.

All hell didn't break loose, but I think it was close.

So, now Bob and some of his closest friends are going to get a shot at summer school. If they pass the test, they get to go to 6th grade. If not, we get to discuss their futures.

Can't wait.

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Blogger Angie said...

Sounds like Field Day was exhausting! We have a Walk-a-Thon tomorrow, but it is just an hour or so.
Great job on your test scores! Don't you love parents that think they can just "fix" everything in a week? My favorite is the parent who comes at the end of a semester or grading period after the child doing literally nothing and wanting "extra credit." Um, come again? That would be a no. You don't do the original work, you certainly don't get extra.

5/19/2008 9:24 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

That's what I love about departmentalization--having multiple teachers assist in the bubble-bursting. That way they don't just look at you like you sprouted a third eye for suggesting their angel needs to actually DO something!
We do very little retention and way too much social promotion, IMO. The kids know by the time they hit 4th that they won't be held back, no matter how little work they do.
We get to take the state test TWICE next year. Can't wait.

5/19/2008 10:53 PM  
Blogger cupcake said...

Field Day sucks (one of the benefits of high school is that we don't have Field Day, although, when you think about it, EVERY DAMN DAY is Field Day).

But having the kiddies pass the big test? That so does not suck, my friend.

Here's to you. And here's to you and Bob, reunited next year.

5/20/2008 4:28 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Someone suggested to me that we have Field Day next year. I just started cracking up because up until this week, I didn't even know what it was. And now thanks to Cupcake and Teachergirl, I was wise enough to say, "No thank you!"

5/20/2008 5:12 PM  
Blogger teachergirl said...

Reunited ... and it feels so good.

Field Day - I thought all elementary schools in America had Field Days. Just remember, Angie: once you start it, you can't get rid of it. It is like the plague.

Thank you for your good wishes. I am so glad it is over.

5/20/2008 9:38 PM  

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