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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 18 2009

How am I ever going to do this again?

So I gave my third grade students the end of second grade math assessment that I’ve given my students each year. Once again they bombed it hard. I have identified 6 students who have a good grasp on most 2nd grade skills and will be fine once I brush off the summer rust. That leaves 26 who are way way way below grade level. 6 of them are completely absolutely clueless and couldn’t answer ANY question correct. Not telling time, not shapes, not graphs, not money, not adding, not place value, not greater than or less than.


I have had the same results each year and each year I feel so angry that the education system has failed them thus far. Of course I will try my best, but the reality is that with 32 students in my class I am going to be extremely hard pressed to find the time to devote to the needs of each of these students. Some of my TFA colleagues at school have offered after school tutoring to some of the kids who most desprately need assistance. I’m considering doing that this year. With our school days and school year already much longer than most schools I don’t want to wear myself weary. Maybe my time would be best spent tutoring the kids that are in the middle, or upper-middle since they are still behind grade level but they don’t get the kinds of services (like title 1, special ed, SES tutoring) that the lowest kids are offered. I feel like that would be strategic, but maybe it would be the best use of my time. I feel kind of guilty like that would be the most likely to help out the school MAP scores, but maybe it’s what needs to happen. I had 7 students last year who were within 10 points of missing the proficiency cut off point on the state test. It’s hard because they were SO close. I hate the idea of teaching to the test when others “need it more” I mean it’s like deciding, who am I going to leave behind. I know that it’s completely un PC to say but that’s the reality of education today and it really sucks.

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    An Elementary School Teacher in the Show Me State

    St. Louis
    Elementary School
    Elementary Education

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