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Can You Feel IT in the Air?
And I don't mean spring! This is the time of year where I break out Dr. Seuss's book Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! and share it with children. I want them to know that I believe in them and that they have learned how to think. If you think and problem solve you can really go far in life.
In my current role I am not in the classroom and you can feel the stress and anxiety over the upcoming Smarter Balance testing for the Common Core. A colleague and I have been charged with reading the manuals, training the teachers, working the IT department to make sure the info-structure and browser are loaded. We've been organizing and planning to roll this out to staff. Even called the help desk for Smarter Balance. My principal is stressed to the max because she worries that this isn't right for kids, but there isn't anyway around it for our district. She is also worried about teacher stress level, teaching is stressful to begin with that is why not everyone signs up to spend there day with other people's kids. It takes a special breed of human to create a room where children can be successful.
While we can sit around and plan and stress about the unknowns, it doesn't help. I equate it to sixteen years of progress reports done three times a year. We stress over them, but somehow they always make it to the finish line on time. This testing will happen, our team will work diligently to support our teachers. We have made our goal to show no stress to our staff as we train them and give them the "You can do it!" speech of encouragement.
Smarter Balance was only part of how I spent my day. In the late afternoon, I gathered up the camera, tripod, and computer and headed off to the Middle School to work on the One School One Book. Walking into the Library, the excitement was so evident, from the balloons to the amazing presentation to "kick-off" the One School One Read program. My role was to record teachers who had volunteered to read a portion of the book aloud. The librarian had coordinated teachers to come right after school to record an excerpt from the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. A great read about a persevering. I was amazed at how excited these teachers were and how they wanted to look good on camera. It gave the whole process such a wonderful spirit. I can't wait to see the videos as a whole. I am hoping I can make it part of my blog post, I wonder if the teachers have AUP permission for that?