I had a meeting yesterday that really got my blood boiling. The meeting was about our test scores. I work at a failing school, so the test scores aren't good. The scores bother me, but it was more than that. I don't want to go on a rant right now, so I'm going to wait, let a coherent post form in my mind before trying to write. Instead of focusing on the negativity, I want to focus on a couple of positive things going on at school.
Last Friday we had our first Student of the Month breakfast. I've written about our Student of the Month ceremony before, but for the uninitiated, every month each teacher selects a deserving student to honor. We host a big breakfast for all the kids and their families. There's a lot of love in the room. It's a very cool thing.
This was probably the first time my choice actually surprised me. I chose a girl who I had a fairly serious run-in with last year. I subbed for a colleague, and this girl was a real jerk. We got into it pretty good. When I saw this girl's name on my roster this year, I was fairly certain she would be a major thorn in my side. To my surprise, this girl has been amazing. She works hard every day and her attitude has been great. She is one of my favorite students. I give kids second chances (and 3rd, and 4th, and 5th.....you get the drift) for a living, so I probably shouldn't be so surprised by this turn of events. But I am. Just another example of why I enjoy teaching.
My 8th grade team has set up a study hall after school from 4-5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We've identified a number of kids who have to show up because of poor grades, but everyone is welcome. We're three weeks in, and on average, 15-20 kids are showing up. We'd like there to be more, but we'll take what we can get. I'm working with kids on assignments from my class, and I'm really enjoying the chance to work with the kids individually, giving them the extra help they need. I was working with a couple kids this afternoon, and it just sort of hit me, I was having a blast.
I'll get to that post about test scores, the particular statistical inanities that bug me even as I type this sentence. I'm just glad I have so many other positive things to focus on every day.