One Battle Ends...

So the ELA is officially behind us. Sigh of relief. By next Thursday the math exam will be over as well. This of course means the struggle over test prep will be over. Unfortunately, it will be May. Which means a whole other type of battle will begin.

The battle will be with the students and with myself. At this point in the year, the students sense summer vacation around the corner. With the tests so late this year, I have a feeling this anticipation of freedom will only be heightened. I'll do my best to combat it with the usual, "I'm looking to see who's ready for the 4th grade" line and of course a steady mix of projects and field trips. A little chaos is to be expected though, and as long as the kids aren't hurting each other, I don't mind it (I'm going to regret saying this, I know).

The other battle is of course fighting against my own urges to go into "end of the year mode". In past years I've always been shocked at how lax some teachers become in June, and even May. Without sounding too sanctimonious I hope, this isn't really a luxury students in high need schools can perform. The summer months may bring about at least a half year of back sliding in math and reading. For kids who are already behind, loosening up for a month or two isn't an option.

I will be constantly remind myself that two months is more than 20% of the whole school year. Will I enjoy the freedom from test prep to find some more creative and extensive learning projects? Yes. Will I replace learning with games, meaningless field trips or movies? Not a chance. This isn't play time, it's crunch time.


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