T minus ten hours until state testing begins. My Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 students will all test Monday morning. This will be my first time to administer a standardized test. During my student teaching, I had the opportunity to proctor a standardized test. I'm just hoping that we won't have any technology issues tomorrow...
I don't know where this past year has gone. A year ago today, I was calling my superintendent to accept this job. A year ago yesterday, I had never set foot in this town that I now call home. I didn't know where it was on a map or even know how to get here.
My emotions are all over the place right now. I'm scared. I'm excited. I'm terrified. I'm nervous. I'm unsure of exactly how I'm supposed to feel right now. My students and I have worked hard this school year. For my Algebra 1 students, the stakes are high. Students are required to pass the Algebra 1 EOI in order to graduate. My Algebra 2 students don't have that pressure on them, but that scares me, too. Will they try their hardest if they know they don't have to pass the test to graduate?
I teach a large number of students who have failed to pass their standardized tests in mathematics in the past. And, I want nothing more than to see them pass. I want them to see that hard work does pay off. I did some research this weekend, and I discovered that my school district regularly performs the worst or second-worst in mathematics in our entire county. I knew that our test scores were low when I took this job, but I didn't realize that they were that low. My mentors continually remind me that progress is slow. Any progress is good progress. But, my perfectionistic self has a hard time accepting that. I want instant change.
Sadly, some of my students have chosen not to put in ample work to master the concepts of the course. And, I believe that will also be reflected in their test scores. A small number of students chose to not complete our review assignments. I've reminded them constantly that the need to try their hardest. If the students don't pass, they will take Algebra 1 again next year. I've tried my hardest to prevent this, but I think I have some students who need that in order to be successful in the long run.
I've been told by some that my test scores directly reflect my effectiveness as a teacher. Others have cautioned me to not read too much into my test scores because they reflect the education my students have received over the course of their school careers. So, I don't really know what to think.
But, I have a feeling I will shed some tears tomorrow, though. Tears of joy and tears of sadness.