80 <- shock on my face!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by McKennaL, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Nov 12, 2009

    Ok... in case I need to explain to those who don't know. Doing an LTS assignment. 4 weeks into 12 weeks. K/pre-K (totally out of my element-which would be 2nd-5th grade). Working with a sister teacher who I have come to respect and like- though she HAS stolen my best ideas and claimed them to the boss as her own. Working like a maniac! Putting a good 12-14 hours a day work into this assignment in order to wow ANYONE beyond belief and end up with a coveted letter of recommendation.


    I am in the middle of assessments for report cards. NEVER in my LIFE imagined all that goes into Early childhood and the testing and assessments that go on with the youngest of our students (though thanking GOD for this insight - learning where and how learning/literacy begins is PRICELESS!!!).

    Now I get an e-mail that though we only had standardized computerized testing of the students a month and a half ago, this test (that takes place 3 times a year) has been moved up from the middle of January (when the other teacher would be back) to the first week in December (WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?????).

    This test takes place on a laptop with a touch pad mouse. Imagine wearing heavy mittens and working a touch pad. THAT is about the quality of the kindergartners fine-motor skills even IF they UNDERSTAND how the whole thing works. But then you are talking a standardized test that takes your previous answer and then decides TOUGHER question? easier question? There is NO WAY to prepare students for that...and because of the total experience (new to SCHOOLING let alone testing, computers, touch pads) some of the students tested in the 1% range in mid-September.

    So hearing it's coming again in early December was FIRST a shock...but then I started to wonder about their skills at computing at ALL (I have observed a few at the computer station and some can't even operate a regular mouse with the simplest of clicking on huge icons or click and drag functions - forget about the touch pad which they have NO experience on). And while driving I thought...I need to see if we can get the laptop computers for a few times BEFORE Thanksgiving (in the midsts of assessments for report cards? - SHEEESH) so that they can maybe PRACTICE touch pad mouse skills on SOME website. Just to prepare them (a BIT) to face this daunting test again.

    Well, after having had my ideas stolen before, I thought...should I go to the principal directly with these thoughts? Yes. I will get there SO early that the sister teacher wouldn't be there yet. I will ask the principal if i could bend her ear with a thought I was having - and after she loved my idea (*cough* hehehehe) and if she asked if i discussed it already with the sister-teacher, i could say, it's so early and she hasn't arrived yet- but SINCE I was passing the principal I thought I would bat it around with her. ;)

    Oh yes, that was my PLAN! BUT... I get to the office and here is this early morning committee meeting going on (I think school improvement or something) and the sister teacher is on that committee. Drat! Foiled again!

    So...when I see the sister teacher in her classroom, I have no other option than to tell her my idea (I mean, I can't waste time getting ANY chance to get those laptops arranged for the kids BEFORE Thanksgiving - since the test is within days of returning after Thanksgiving and the laptops, at THAT point, would be occupied with OLDER students doing the standardized testing too). I tell her my idea and I see the wheels turning. Meanwhile her aide walks in and agrees with me. Sister teacher says..."you have a good point there. Hmmmmm. Yes, I guess that COULD be done...and it has merit."

    Yeah!!!!!! Jumping with excitement!!!! (Somewhat patting myself on the back)

    "....but..... hmmmm" Uh oh!:mellow: (waiting for something to hit the fan...I am now prepared to see the signs)

    Dear readers...are you sitting down?

    I can see the wheel turning in her mind - and the expression on her face gives me a hint that I am NOT going to like the next few words out of her mouth.

    "you see......"

    (wait for it)

    "history proves that the kindergartners will test SO low at the beginning. It's a given that WE understand (due to the nature of the test and having no clue how to even WORK a computer - let alone take a test), but others are stunned at the results. But what IS remarkable to those people is the INCREDIBLE results that the kids have at the same test in MAY. You understand? September is terrible, January testing is slightly better, but MAY is WOW! Though that idea would surely help them improve their scores by ALONE giving them practice at skills they might need.... it would cause the MAY growth to look lessened...."

    :eek::eek::eek::eek: WHAT???????????????????

    What she is suggesting is that we NOT give the kids the training that they need NOW so that THEN (in May) it will look as if these two teachers (and at that point - not ME!!!!) will look like MIRACLE workers!!!!

    "hmmmm..... let me think about this", she says.

    Meaning - thanks, McKenna for the idea (once again) and I will use it to help MYSLEF later after you are gone - but not NOW when the raised scores could indicate that YOU had the brilliant idea to give them exposure and work on this in the first place.

    *****

    Good God!

    What do you do???

    Imagine being freed from the heavy mittens. That ALONE would increase your abilities!!!!

    But...it might not happen.

    If it DOES it might show that there is a marked increase of scoring -thus... "hmmm, what did that LTS DO to raise scores so well? Who CARES! Let's hire her!!!"

    vs.

    "Ho-Hum another set of low scores from the kindergarten. Well, thank GOD the maternity leave will be over, and the Dynamic Duo of the sister-teacher and the new-mom teacher will be back and work their incredible magic for the end testing - as they have in the past. And as we have rewarded them for."

    ****

    Who gets screwed? The kids? (Not really. They will learn it eventually.) The LTS? YUP!

    Incredible!!!

    ****

    But even more to the point. Does this HAPPEN?????

    You hold off instruction that COULD happen for one set of tests so that your scores on another test would look like a miracle has occurred? That's trickery beyond my moral-belief.
     
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  3. SandyCastles

    SandyCastles Companion

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I think you should go to the principal and mention your idea to him. Imagine if they have the computer skills now and improve on the test. Then, come May, when they have refined not only the computer skills but the skills needed for the test, they will improve again- maybe even more so than they would have originally.
    The students should be showing improvement throughout the whole year. In the first place, I think it is silly to ask Kindergartners to use a laptop to take such an important test without a USB mouse attached to it, but if it must be done, then they should have had the ability to practice on the machines prior to taking the assessment. I know when I first got my new laptop it took me a good day or two to get used to it- and that was switching from a different laptop.
    Go get the credit you deserve. See what the principal thinks. Or... work it in another way. Have the kids make podcasts or something else on the laptops so they can "practice" while doing a different activity.
     
  4. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Nov 12, 2009

    i would go to the principal anyway, mention that you spoke to the other teacher about it but wanted to run it by him/her as well.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I agree with going to the principal with your idea. But, it is a sad situation if that type of thing goes on ordinarily. The idea that all of this testing stuff makes admin more concerned with how the school looks, than with how the kids learned, is just sick. And that teacher doesn't deserve to be called a sister.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I agree! Go to the P! Tell him your idea. Geeez! I am so shocked. As a teacher, I strove to improve the scores all year long... she sounds like someone who would get on my nerves, easily. I wouldn't go to her anymore. Sorry.
     
  7. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Nov 12, 2009

    You have a responsibility to these students to ensure that they are prepared. They NEED to use the laptops beforehand. We do testing like this, and it is imperative that they are familiar with how to work the laptop before a computerized test. I am telling you without a doubt that it is not even an option... you MUST have those kids use laptops before the test. Don't question yourself any further on this. You need to do it.

    Sister teacher and principal be damned. Have the students use the laptops to do KidPix where they write the letter of the week and draw a picture with a word that starts with that letter or something similar (to ensure that it is connected to the curriculum).

    But whatever you do, you cannot let this other teacher try to sell you a line that poor scores on this test will make their May test shine. If you end up taking the route that she wants to take, you will end up with a class of extremely frustrated little kids who won't understand what they are doing.
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 12, 2009

    Why do you have to ask the P to use the laptop cart? Just use it.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I wondered that too. I figured, there must be a policy to have permission from the P or something to check out certain equipment??? If you can use it without getting the permission, then why not??
     
  10. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I am wondering how you can respect someone who steals your ideas and claims them as her own. I would speak to the principal about your idea and mention that you have shared your suggestion with your co-teacher and you both feel it would work.Ask the principal what they think.
    As an aside I think testing K and Pre K in this manner tells us the testing bug has gotten way out of hand!
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2009

    Go to your principal and WRITE your thoughts to him in an email so you have some documentation of your ideas!
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2009

    The parent of my student encourages her to just throw answers down on pre-tests so the last test looks better. I've lost the ability to care. But another teacher? Awful.
     
  13. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Nov 13, 2009

    I would go to the P and tell him my idea as well. I think that the students should be allowed to used a wireless mouse.
     
  14. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Seriously?????? Again??????

    Is this just the WAY life works now? I mean...really??????


    Well I DID go to talk to the principal...So that she wouldn't say - talk to the sister teacher. i said I brought it up with her recently.

    Told to talk to the IT teacher. Did that and Again... so that they didn't say talk to sister teacher first I said I had mentioned it to her. Talked to the IT teacher about WHEN the laptops would be available... and was told the Monday after Thanksgiving -the day before the Testing starts.

    Talk to the sister teacher and say... everyone gives us permission...let's go for it.

    Well, then the literacy specialist hears about it - and takes over. It will be done during our intervention time..and all the support staff will be there to help. COuld it get better? Yes, I could get a little nod for coming up with it and getting it moving.

    And????

    NO!!!!

    Now the literacy specialist is taking credit for it! She is sending letters to tell everyone about the final plans... and guess what... I wasn't even on the e-mail LIST!!!!!! I had to be FORWARDED the e-mail by the sister teacher.

    I am SO disgusted!

    Is this TRULY how things GO in this world? I am totally out of the loop???

    Is it... take the ball and run with others' ideas... to promote YOURSELF???

    And I can't do ANYTHING to stop/help it...because I need all of the endorsements... but I question if I will get them at THIS point! They'll think I'm ONLY a follower...when I came up with SPLENDID ideas over and over again!!

    (I guess I should ONLY think of my students...after all...I want THEM to succeed. And THAT is why I come up with these ideas in the first place!)

    But... I'm pissed, I'm shocked, I want to SCREAM!
     
  15. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Nov 25, 2009

    Oh I am so sorry that you are having all this crap going on! :hugs: to you!
     
  16. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Nov 25, 2009

    I am sitting here in the middle of the night...and ...*total exasperation*

    You know, I talk to this literacy specialist...and I WILL say-she's QUITE good at her job (though you know that irritating habit that kids have of ending most of their sentences with that question-lilt? She does that a LOT....and i have to keep thinking...you do this, and you are a teacher? Isn't that what you teach kids NOT to do?). But I'll go to her a number of times a week to make sure I'm on track. To bounce ideas off of. Etc.

    But she's one of those...well I see it as age discrimination (in a way). And I wonder-what would you be treating me like if i were one of the young tall blonds that seem to dominate this field (this school)?

    Sometimes I feel like she is patting my hand like you would on a trip to visit a great great aunt at the nursing home. "You babysit the little children-and we'll clean up after you."

    I think i'll spend a lot of time crying over this one this weekend.
     
  17. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Nov 25, 2009

    Hugs.... lots of 'em... and, no, life just isn't fair.

    Don't cry over this though, or at least limit it to 10 minutes just because it'll be good for you.

    Keep on doing what is right, because it's right for the kids if nothing else. You'll be recognized for all your hard work in the end.

    Enjoy your time off, spend some time outside getting some fresh air, go to a movie, enjoy your family.

    Hugs again.
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Nov 25, 2009

    McKenna - I don't think that you are being overlooked. I think that people are taking note of the amazing job that you are doing.

    Just keep on working hard and think positive thoughts. Maybe the Literacy Person sent the email out to her colleagues because she felt like this was worth doing in all the schools. What an great notch in YOUR belt! The Principal knows where the initial idea came from and he/she is the person that matters most. Your teaching buddy knows that you have great ideas and she matters so much too! Honestly this kind of thing happens all the time in schools. You have an idea and instead of just one person getting the credit - a group of persons get recognized because they were a part of the team putting everything together to make things work for the students. Bottom line the students are the ones that WIN in this situation all thanks to YOU! :hugs:

    Don't waste your holiday thinking about this another minute. In the end, you WILL succeed in getting the coveted letters of recommendation. Everyone will know that YOU were the teacher of those little ones for MANY blessed weeks. Your sister teacher will sing your praises from the highest peaks because she will have witnessed the powerful impact that you had on these young children. Get to know the parents and ask one or two that you bonded with for a letter as well. Nothing shows how much you have done for a child like a happy parent. And that Literacy Coach will be one of your biggest advocates when you begin your job search again. She knows people in other schools and might be willing to put in some extra kind words into the ears of friends that she has within the district. And since you are now WISE and go directly to the P, he or she now knows that you not only are doing a fine job in the classroom, but you are also capable of coming up with some great ideas for children to benefit children.

    Who knows, maybe THIS school will have an opening. And who will be the best and brightest pick of the year???? YOU! MCKENNA - loved by many, trusted by all, admired by the few that matter!

    Happy Thanksgiving McKenna and put this behind you. Fill your glass up with a good dose of... "I ROCK"! Know in your heart that the people that count are taking notice of you and know that you are a learner, that you inspire, and when called upon - you can lead! And not only do THEY know it, WE know it too!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
     
  19. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Nov 25, 2009

    I agree with the others. DOCUMENT your idea and concerns in an email to the principal. It's always a good idea to cover your a$$ by documenting. :D
     
  20. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Nov 26, 2009

    Just drop a thank you note to the principal for listening to your idea and offering ways to make your idea a reality. Then, touch on what the plan has become for putting this idea into action (he may already know but it won't hurt to take the lead here since it was your idea).

    Better yet, drop him a thank you email instead. Compliment the other teachers on your team (for helping to make it a reality) so that you are viewed as a positive team player. Then, CC them on the email as well. That way, all remember where the idea originally came from yet you are being thankful for being taken serious, not viewed as petty.
     

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