kate5kiwis: what's it all about, alfie? or maybe just count the number of times i've written the word 'test'.


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

what's it all about, alfie? or maybe just count the number of times i've written the word 'test'.

the performance anxiety's been a bit intense of late. there's these things called pre-tests and post-tests which means that kids' learning is marked and measured and recorded in little boxes. two weeks ago, i was totally ecstatic that my mathsy kiddos averaged a 25% increase in their algebra results. go mrs unmathematician. pfft. i am now fighting the impulse to jigger the geometry post-test results.

at staff meeting today we were given 'self-review buddies' which is teacher-speak for 'someone's gonna observe ya trying to control a classroom bun-fight and tick/cross boxes in red pen.' the kids get tested, the teachers get tested. if it moves, measure it. i did last year's art assignment on anti-that. what a fraud.

but because i'm teaching part time, on days where there's eleven teachers out, Sir asks me to do the odd relief lesson. yeparoonie, i get to spy on how other teachers do it. is everyone else as freaked about the conveyor belt as i am? how do they handle it when some kiddos fail? do their perfectionist tendencies let them sleep at night? or maybe they've just put the jedi mind whammy on it? anyway, yesterday i had a class of seventeen year olds... who did a test.

today's spy mission was last period upstairs in the gym with a bunch of sixteen year old geography students.
kiddo: oh, hello miss, are you our teacher today?
me: no, i'm your very expensive babysitter. i get paid danger money, you know. so who's here? i'll just call the roll...
another kiddo: miss, do you like relieving? cos there's no homework aye.
me: (ah yes, here we go, the stall technique) well, *grin* there's pros and cons. i love the no homework. but sometimes i have a science class who give me grief and i have to channel my inner-hitler.
another kiddo: so are you teaching us tomorrow?

and on it goes, in the hope that they'll escape doing any work. they talk to me about other teachers, the winner winner chicken dinner that they cooked with olly-the-chef yesterday, past and hoped-for geography field trips, and i vibe them to finish their work for today so that they'll be homework-free. we chat about life and how one student wishes she'd continued learning french. they give me some boot-lovings and then three kids leap up at the window and wave frantically to a drama student who is dressed as a cow and for a moment i let them, but then i do the twirly-whirly manoeuvre between them and the window and invite them to finish their work.

but i see no need for the hitler-act cos i have no hidden agenda of a test next week and there's only fourteen kids so the hour turns out rather relaxed and dancy, and i don't even get my red pen out.


Blogger nova_j said...

ha snap! the Other Half here was being Observed today by his A.T. who was simultaneously being Observed by a ministry bigwig! :P

and yay for some non-accountable teaching time! ;)

7:01 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

'self-review buddies' - urgh. What horrible jargon!

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Bulldog said...

big bruvver is watching you

9:01 PM  
Blogger Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Arrr, shudder, how very awful it all sounds, but write with such brilliance and humour that the blow is somewhat softened. I've been reading your posts lately and thinking a lot of my dear Mum, who went back to teaching when I was 11. I remember her love of children and teaching them, but also how terribly exasperated she got with the testing, the paperwork and the government constantly changing everything. I often thought about going into teaching, but my Mum kept saying, 'Don't do it!'.

7:10 AM  

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