Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Arne- please regulate cheap carnivals

Dear K-Mart Carnival,
I hate you. Don't take it personally- I've never actually been to your carnival, but you really make my life, my co-workers' lives, and my school's life much, much harder. Every year you come in May.
And our families,who love you, spend late nights out (school nights, SCHOOL NIGHTS!) enjoying your adventures, because after all, it's the once-a-year carnival.

This would be fine if it was June. Or July.

Do you know what happens in May?
Testing happens in May.
The kindergartners need a good night sleep because they are taking the K-MRA math assessment, The DRA2- reading assessment, the DRA-2 Word Analysis reading assessment, as well as other assessments we throw in for fun. The first and second graders are also taking the MRA and DRA math and reading assessments.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th graders- they're taking the MRA, DRA AND our state testing. You know, those high stake tests that determine whether or not we're labeled a failing school or not.


And yet, all our hard work, all our dedication, our excellent lessons, our perfectly timed instruction, well-planned analysis, the hours spent planning, hours of analyzing data, reflecting, and teaching- all for nothing because our kids stayed out way too late the night before at the carnival.

There is nothing like sitting down with a kid to administer one of these one-on-one assessments and watch them struggle to keep their eyes open.
"What's this letter?" you ask, and watch one eye close.
"Ummmm" the kid says, barely looking at the paper, and kind of leaning to the left as though he might fall off the chair.
"UMMMM... k?" he whispers, still not looking at the letter. Despite the fact that the letter you are pointing to is not a K, and is in fact, the first letter in this child's name, AND is the only letter the child knew when he started school in the fall.
"What time did you go to bed last night?" you can't help but ask.
"I don't know, after the carnival closed. I think the car clock said 1."

So, you see, K-Mart Carnival, I think you are single handily bringing down the American education system. Our tired kids will fail, despite the fact they know the information when they are not operating on 3 hours of sleep. We will not make AYP, which means we'll have to change our instruction. We'll take our previously fabulous instruction and make it more drill & kill, in hopes that method will work. And it wont, because next May your carnival will be back, and once again our students will not be able to recognize their names. Can you please, please schedule your carnivals so they do not correspond with testing?

Is that too much to ask?
Mrs. Lipstick

1 comment:

Unlimited said...

Oh, goodness - this was my rant as I drove past that thing this weekend. I'm hoping that since it's been there for a few weeks already, that all of the excitement has died down. Fingers crossed.