If you've taught for more than one year you know exactly what I mean when I tell you that my students are acting foolish because Spring has begun! It's kind of like coming to school when there's a full moon outside...you go because you have to and you are getting paid to be there, but you really don't look forward to the foolishness you are about to encounter!
The "Happy Thought" is that there are only 3 more weeks of school before Spring Break starts, which we are all looking forward to. Please don't misunderstand me...I LOVE teaching and LOVE my students but we've all gotten to the point where we need a break from each other.
Let me brag on my students for a little bit here...we have had MAP testing this week. I love MAP testing for a couple of reasons...1) it's computerized so the kids don't have to spend hours bubbling, and 2) students have immediate feedback about how well they've done as their score pops onto the screen when they complete the test. I gave my students a sticky note with their fall score written on it and prior to the test I had given them all a pep talk about doing their absolute best on the test.
Well, I haven't done the math so the figures I'm about to spout are estimates, but my students kicked booty on these tests this week! My estimate is that around 80% of my students showed gains from fall to spring. Somewhere between 15 and 20 of my students had gains greater than 10 points (generally when a student has a "BIG" gain, it's about 5 points or so). And finally I had one child gain 20 POINTS!!!! Yes...I'm shouting! This child worked SO hard on this test and it really paid off!
Lots of people at my school have said things like "well, they gained so much because you've taught them so well" but I don't see it that way. My teammates and I talked to several of our students who showed significant gains. We asked them what made the difference for them...why they scored so much higher this spring, etc. A majority said "because my teachers care about me." How FANTASTIC is that? We care, and they know we care, and because we care and they know, they work harder! I'm really excited about this!!!!
So, if you have any opportunity to lift up a student, show them that you care, please do it. They notice...they may not act like they notice or care, but they do and they work harder!!!