May 6, 2016

Bring it on, STAAR!

We ended last year and began this year with some thoughts about improving and sharpening up some things on our campus. This week, we have spent time in summatives discussing these things. I am deeply grateful to everyone for their candor, and for your desire to continuously assess yourselves and your departments - searching for ways to get better.

As next week arrives, try to take in all of the things that you have done personally to improve the performance and lives of your students. I feel a personal pride in the job we have all done this year. We have improved as a campus, but improvement takes time to build on - and I know that can be frustrating.

The vast majority of you "personalize" the outcome of STAAR. I do too. I think some of that is healthy, and we need to own our own performance. On the other hand, we don't want to just make scores our only barometer. Try not to be nervous watching them test. I know testing days are exhausting.

The job of teaching is different than other careers in one major way: we have bookends every year. The beginning of the year has its own feeling, and there is a feeling of accomplishment when we get done. I know that waiting on scores can make the "bookend" feel less like a finish line, but we are really close to having this year behind us.

I want to thank each of you for doing virtually everything asked of you and still showing up to work the next day.

There is a ton of heart in this building.

Upcoming Dates.....

May 9th: 8th Math Re-test, 7th Math

May 10th: 8th Reading Re-test, 7th Reading

May 11th: 8th Science

May 12th: 8th Social Studies, Archery leaves for Nationals @ 6:00 p.m.

May 13th: Morrowland

David and Goliath

I know that T-TESS and STAAR have been in the news lately and on Facebook. While I would encourage everyone to stay informed, take some of this stuff with a grain of salt.

We don't have any idea what Austin will do about anything, and from my perspective, it is often more about "who is winning" the game than "what is the right thing to do?"

However, If I got to pick a side to be on, from the very beginning of life, (even if the outcome were unknown) - I'd rather be a David than a Goliath.

I have said this before, but part of American politics will always be to run campaigns on change - it is the easiest thing to sell. Politicians (and the media) have done a good job of selling it since Sputnik beat us to space.

Try to remember:

The real "fixing" takes place in your rooms everyday.

"Fixing" is an "always" job for a teacher.

If you have ever heard the song "Fix You" by Coldplay or read the lyrics - you will see all of us in there. I know we haven't fixed everything, but we have taken large steps in the right direction. Some jobs require a sword, and some jobs require a stone.

Thanks for being a David.

"Lights will guide you home", y'all.

Autistic boy breaks down in tears as he watches Coldplay perform live for first time