Archive for May, 2011

When Is Enough Enough In Relation To Student State And National Assessments?

May 27, 2011

Hello Everyone.  Adra Young here once again.  I’d like to start this blog off by wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Memorial Holiday Weekend.   I’m not sure how many of my fans read my blog are closer to my age range or not? I state this only to see how many individuals remember how many national or state test they took in those quote on quote “Good Old Days?” At the tender age of 10, I believe it was only two for me at that time.  

Well times have changed as well as the  number of times a student takes a standardized and or norm referenced examination.  This year, I along with the teachers in my school district were mandated to provide one state test and four assessments that would represent as our overall state national percentage.  In fact, I just finished up with the last portion of the fourth assessment today with my students.  Providing these test can be very stressful as an educator. It is however a part of my proceedings as a teacher so I do what I am mandated to do.  What I do not and will ever refuse to agree with is the pressure these type of test put on our students.

During testing time yesterday, one of my students started crying.  Out of concern, I asked the student what was wrong. There response was that they were simply tired of testing.  After getting  the student to calm down, I motivated them to complete the entire examination .  This student by the was not diagnosed or faced any reading or learning challenges.  They were simply just tired.  

After the students left for that day, I thought to myself, if our kids are feeling overwhelmed about these multiple assessments at the ages of 11 and  12 than where will their stress levels be at by the time they are 17 and 18  about to enter into the next phases of their lives?  I simply don’t think that it’s necessary to assess a youngster four and five times a year. What sincere validity is it really serving?

My All Male Sixth Grade Class Today At the Toledo Zoo

May 23, 2011

Hello Everyone.  Adra Young here again.  As we all know, we are getting close to the end of the school year.  Around this time, schools offer fun and exciting things for students to participate in.   Today I along with my all male sixth grade class had the opportunity to attend the Toledo zoo in Toledo, Ohio. 

Rushing as I usually do, I forgot my snacks for the trip.  As my boys sat down and ate their lunch today they noticed, I did not have anything to eat. Oh how my boys took great care of me.  They gave me cookies, chips, and one amazing deli style turkey sandwich.  Afterwards, we begin our tour  of the zoo.

Despite the limited time restraint we were on, we saw many beautiful animals and creatures.  I let the boys lead the way as they guided me to penguins, polar bears, and sleeping tigers.   They had the opportunity to take pictures of seals, and one beautiful multicolored crocodile.  I think I might have upset them once I stated how the crocodile would make one beautiful purse and a  gorgeous pair of sandals for me. The boys gave me one disgruntled look which resulted to me laughing to the point of me holding my stomach. 

Laughter did not stop at this point.  I guess it’s mating season because my boys also got a chance to see the monkey’s and turtles having intercourse.  Once they got pass the point of shock from witnessing these occurrences, I treated everyone to an ice-cream cone.  I really appreciated the fact that they fed me a great lunch today. By the time we ate our ice-cream, our time at being at the zoo was coming to an end.  We got a chance to see the elephant and headed back to the bus. 

My boys indicated that they had a ball.   Some of them had indicated that this was thier first time ever attending a zoo. Today was a memorable occasion not just for my boys, but for me as well.

My Mother’s Day Gift

May 11, 2011

Hello Everyone.  I know you are probably thinking, where has your favorite educator, tweens, and teens author been lately?  My response is simply, I’ve been very busy.  I hope that all the mom’s had one great Mothers Day.  I had a great Mothers Day even the despite the fact that I am not biologically a mom as of yet.

On Friday, two days before Mothers Day, I got two amazing surprises from two of my students.  The first surprise was given to me directly after we completed our spelling test.  One of my young ladies gave me the prettiest paper carnation flower that had the scent of a very sweet fragrance. She had made it in art class.  As she approached me with it, I asked her who was it was for? This student simply said it was for me and that I was her mother too.  Instantly, I felt the tears feeling up in my eyes. Immediately I turned to face the opposite direction of my class so that my students could not see me crying.  I was use to receiving birthday and cards for the holidays.  I had never received a mother’s day gift before.

The second surprise came from a rather rebellious kid who had finally come to the realization that in order for her to succeed in my class would take team effort, work and cooperation from the both of us.   After picking my students up from lunch this day, she looked at me and said, “Miss Young, you’re my mom you know that!”  I tell you when she said it, I almost passed out on the cafeteria floor due to being in shock.

After school had let out that day, I had come to one very important realization. The students even the ones that we least expect appreciate the efforts that we as teachers provide to ensure educational success. They appreciate the love, compassion, and the concern that we have for their well-being as little people simply trying to find their own way.