Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 10 2013

In which my nose grows longer

I think I am slowly losing cognitive function.

This is being written on a clipboard on Day 2 (of 3) of district benchmark testing.  If you don’t know, that means we have to give long, painful, multiple choice tests three times a year that, theoretically, predict performance on the state test.

I can think of few things have less to do with the state test, but I digress.

For me, it means doing all of the things I hate about my job, and absolutely none of the fun things.  I walk around with a clipboard looking mean, I call mamas like it’s my raison d’etre, and I perpetually express my disbelief that anyone would dream of talking.  I’m not actually teaching at all, but I’m exhausted by the end of the day from being such a colossal witch.

Seriously, I only told one lame joke all day.  Who am I?

The one beacon of entertainment I get on TEST DAY is the power of the Teacher Lie.

Calm down.  They’re not complete lies.  Climb down off the soapbox friend, hear me out.

Sometimes, it’s important to extend the truth.  Performance on benchmark tests (and frankly, performance on the state test) is about 25% content knowledge, 25% stamina, and 50% investment.  If you think the test is important, you’ll do well.  Children will obviously bomb a test that (a) doesn’t actually have the state of Missouri’s stamp on it, (b) will never go in the gradebook, and (c) is otherwise long, hard, and pointless.  However, if you are led to believe that this test has something to do with summer school assignments, or retention lists, well…  Magical results can occur.  And legitimately, these scores are saved and do come under consideration for student placement and advancement.  They’re just probably somewhat less important than I intentionally lead them to believe.


I mean I also give them peppermints.  Peppermints, you might not be aware, magically make you smarter.  For.  Real.




20 more days until the real deal.  Hopefully we all survive that long.

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    Teaching by the arch

    St. Louis
    Middle School

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