Taking Responsibility...and an ELA Pep Rally

The weather was overall pretty great again this week. The kind of precursor to full-on summer weather that brings out the ice cream truck and makes you giddy. And with the test this coming Monday we again spent the week "blitzing" for the test. But despite the weather, and the test prep overload, the kids were alright. So I guess I isolated the variable that made last week so challenging, and it turned out to be me.

While it's unfortunate I no longer have global warming or test prep as scapegoats, taking responsibility for my own behavior (Class Rule #5) has turned into a major positive. This past week, while not free from the stress of the impending exams, was a major improvement. Frustrations with certain lessons aside, we got a lot accomplished and the kids seemed much more focused. I'm glad I was able to get things back on track and I hope I can build on this over the next 2 months.

Going into the weekend I want to share a story about our school's ELA Pep Rally. Yesterday grades 3-5 gathered in the auditorium for the ELA Pep Rally. There were appearances by Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Wonder Woman. There were two performances including a twist on Beyonce's "Single Ladies" called "All the 3's and 4's". It ended with a slide show with pictures of all the classes preparing for the test.

You might think based on my general attitude toward the testing culture overtaking schools I would be bringing this up as another example of the damage of high-stakes testing. But in this case, I'm staying positive. Was it incredibly cheesy? Yes. But if you're teaching elementary school and you're not making fools of yourselves on a regular basis, you're doing something wrong.It may be unfortunate that a test pep rally is necessary, but in the end, this was an awesome occasion of school spirit and community. The energy in the room for all the kids, all the teachers and all the administrators was incredibly positive. It was a moment to celebrate our hard work and after months of getting ready we all deserved it.


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