I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. You should do it too! Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!
The silent countdown has begun at school. It’s a shift in the air, imperceptible to some. But, I feel it.
I feel it in the hushed conversations, “Did you do that?” “Do your kids know that?”
I feel it in the paperwork I find in my “To File” pile, and take out to scrutinize.
I feel it in the student data I look at just to check one more time.
I feel it in the way I try to assure myself by listing things I have done.
And in the way I don’t believe my own list.
I feel it in the questions I ask myself: “Did you explicitly teach ‘dynamic character’ as a literary term? How about bias? Epic? Conflict? Exaggeration?” “Did you do enough close reading with this class?”
I feel it in all the things I have left that I want to teach.
And most of all, I feel it in my big yearly question: “Was the decision to teach the kids and not the test the right one?”
And, in my big answer: “Well, it’s too late now anyway!”
In about 5 weeks, our state testing begins.
Teachers aren’t allowed to opt out, you know.