I can see it now – the bold, black letters etched in stencil: Ms. Juve, A3. My first classroom door was heavy, painted a dark forest green and squeaky when opened. In those moments before I met my students on the first day of my first year of teaching, I imagined that door as a threshold over which my 15 students with mild to moderate disabilities would pass to gain access to a world of rich, rigorous, engaging academic content. It was through that door, I was convinced, that students would develop into masters of education, advocates for their learning and passionate lifelong learners.
It is a challenging test to face the realities and circumstances of daily family life. But it’s certainly far more difficult to stand before our children and face them saying, “Come on, you can do it!” when we ourselves have failed; to tell them “Work hard in school – graduate!” when some of us have never finished the elementary grades.
When I first moved to the Bay to begin teaching, one of the first things I did was buy an IKEA bed frame. I had no idea, however, how challenging it would be to put together. As my housemates and I took out piece after piece of the soon-to-be frame from its box, I caught a glimpse of the instructions manual.
Assessments are essential for educators. End of the year state tests, quarterly benchmarks, daily exit tickets and checks for understanding during instruction all tell us what our students have learned and what we still need to teach them. With this information, teachers are able to personalize the learning experience for each student, school leaders can determine how we support our instructional staff with coaching and resources, and parents are equipped with the information they need to support their students’ learning at home.
The college professor who said such wrong in the student is a shame,
Lack of preparation in high school is to blame.
Said the high school teacher good heavens that boy is a fool,
The fault of course is with the middle school.
The middle school teachers said from such stupidity may I be spared,
They sent him up to me so unprepared.
The primary teacher said the kindergarten blockheads all,
They call it preparation, why it’s worse than none at all.
The kindergarten teacher said, such lack of training never did I see,
What kind of mother must that woman be.
The mother said poor helpless child–he’s not to blame,
His father’s folks are all the same.
Said the father at the end of the line,
I doubt the rascal is even mine!