Monday, February 27, 2012

Communication Fail

This past week I was on the receiving end of some of the worst communication… ever.

I love my accelerated classes; and I take pride in being the only accelerated teacher on campus. That being said, I rarely get to meet with the other accelerated teachers from the other middle schools. Tuesday was a professional development day, and they figured they would give us some time to meet. There are 4 middle schools in my district, therefore there are 4 accelerated teachers. The meeting started off great until I found out that I have been teaching the wrong curriculum for almost 6 months, not kidding. I'm going to keep this short and specific or I will be typing for days. 

TAKS is changing to STAAR. At the beginning of the year I sat in my math department head’s room and we called the district assessment coordinator to confirm that my students would still be taking the 7th grade STAAR test. I technically teach all of the 8th grade curriculum during my school year. I was told yes, they would take the 7th grade test. Apparently all of this changed though, and September 1st I should have been informed that my kids were going to take the 8th grade test, when the 8th graders take it.

This entire time I’ve thought my kids were taking the 7th grade test on April 24th, but they are actually taking the 8th grade test on March 29th.  

They have 2 days of writing before they take the math test, so that leaves me with 16 school days (counting today) to finish teaching my students the entirety of the 8th grade curriculum. I came back to my school and cried. I felt so overwhelmed and so angry with whoever didn’t tell me about the change. Unfortunately, no one is even taking responsibility and they are all just pointing fingers at someone else.

I finally had one of the math coordinators come visit me during my class. She said she had heard how upset I was (really? I told her she was smart to come while I had kids in my room). I told her I just wanted them to realize how it was really my kids that were affected. I know they will be fine and probably do great on the test, but there are 4 teachers in the district this affected and I just cannot comprehend how they didn’t think to make sure we were absolutely clear on what we were doing. An email; a simple email could have told me all the information I needed to know. We live in the age of technology, why was that so difficult to do? I thanked her for trying to help, but told her I could work with my 8th grade teachers and get everything figured out. The good thing is I have the support of everyone in my school. My principal and math department head are just as upset if not more upset than I am! That gives me a little relief that at least it wasn't just me who did not know. So as of now, I have a game plan and today was the first installment of assigning videos for my kids to watch as part of their homework. I am hoping that these videos will give them a better idea of the lesson the next day and we can move a little faster. I'll keep you updated on how that goes! 

So I would really appreciate any and all prayers throughout the next 3 weeks. I am praying that my kids will stay focused and hang with me as there will be some days I’m teaching two lessons in a day. I am praying that I have the strength and energy to make it through these next weeks. They are going to be stressful and I am going to be worried. I am also trying to remain absolutely positive about everything, especially in front of the kids. And then, of course, a ton of prayers on the day of March 29th


  1. Oh man! That is terrible, Mollie! I am so sorry for you and your kids. I am confident that you have been teaching your students to THINK with their very own brains and to know WHY they come up with the answers that they do - therefore, I know that your little THINKERS will think their best and that's what REALLY matters! REALLY!

    Read - "Hooray for Diffendoofer Day" the day before the kids take the test. I promise it will be worth your time and will put them all at ease! Your local library should have it.

    I'll be praying for you all too! Let us know how it goes! You are doing a GREAT job and seeing your posts really makes me miss the classroom!

  2. I've left the Monday before the test as an "open" day. I will read them the book then!! Thanks for the suggestion! I miss you!!