Sunday, August 29, 2010

Let's start at the beginning...

From the Apple
This last week was our first week. I am so tired! I have been working 12-hour days. You would think after all these years, things would come easy to me, but honestly, I think Courtney breezed through her first week easier than I did! Having 13 students is just simply the best news of all. Although we are under the same "class size amendment" in our county, my school is bursting at the seams. The county has decided that it would simply cost too much to actually have us meet class size so they are going to pay the fine for our classes being overcrowded! We now have 21 in our first grade inclusion classroom and growing. I'm envious of your 13!

I think it is wonderful to have already met your parents. We had a good turn out at Orientation but unfortunately we have to have Open House on Thursdays and the Thursdays in September are Jewish holidays so our Open House is being pushed until October. I hate to wait so long but we have called all of the parents in the class to make sure that everything is going okay.

I can feel your testing stress. I don't know who decided that we should test the children to death instead of teaching, but I keep hoping that there will be a backlash and the pendulum will swing toward the center again. Certainly assessment is a good thing. After all you have to know where your students are in order to know where to go next but to test them to death just takes the joy out of school. We also don't follow the district adopted core series and like you, Courtney, we also have to take the county assessments. However, it is the end result that we really care about so the trick is not to get too caught up in the results of the mid assessments that are not aligned with what we are teaching but to know that in the end our students will come out ahead. In a way I think it's our opportunity to show the powers that be in our county that we can use a "thinking" curriculum where teachers use their ability to teach instead of trying to use a dummy-proofed core curriculum. It'll be interesting to see who actually comes out ahead!

Here's to a happy year for us both!

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