The title says it all. The sad part is, inside my classroom walls between 7:35 and 2:10 it has been a great year. It is all the "other stuff" that has beaten me down this year.
We are a failing school. The title doesn't bother me as much as the thought that my former students are being told that they failed the "state test". We have been told by central office that it is all the teachers' fault. We are not lay blame at anyone else's' feet. As a professional, I find it ironic that we would have to be told this. When I have a kid below grade level at the end of the year, you can bet that I have spent countless hours, many of them in the wee hours of the night, wondering what I could have done differently. You can bet, that I have asked countless other people in my building for ideas. You can bet, that I have accepted that it was my failure. That doesn't mean I didn't look for contributing factors (ENL, homeless children, speech issues, etc..) and tried to address these issues. We try to identify these issues not to place blame, but to further understand and help the child.
Words will not convey how it felt to be told by someone I respect that we are failing our kids. It brings tears to my eyes as I type this. Of course, I believe I can improve as a teacher. If you know me, you know I am constantly reading and discussing new methods. I feel like retreating into my classroom and shutting the door to all the other stuff. But, that would be the worst thing we could do. Our whole teaching staff needs to come together and collaborate even more. We need to support each other and continue to do what is best for the kids.
I'm sorry that this post is such a downer. It felt like every time I sat down to blog these thought were blocking any other thoughts. I promise to blog about what is going on inside my classroom and try to be more positive from now on!