You're up one day, and then the next something happens that just makes you want bang your head on the chalk board over and over and over.
After being happy (though not exuberantly so) yesterday, my students today (and yes, I know it's Friday) really frustrated me. It wasn't so much their behavior in class, as right after. See, on Tuesday, they will all be taking the Basic Standards Test in Reading, and I am working very hard to prepare them. As I have said before, many of them have told me they just don't care about the test, school, or anything.
So today they took a mock test in order to see if what we have been doing for the last four weeks has been sticking. Out of 31 kids, 10 received passing grades. Of those ten, only 4 got higher than 75% (which is considered passing for the BST). Now, I could go off on a rant about this, but that's not what's annoying me. Honestly, I expected these scores. What angered me was what happened after they found out their scores.
One girl in the second period class scored a 90%. Highest grade of all 31 kids. She was really proud of herself, and I honestly was proud of her too, because she had come a really long way in four weeks. Unfortunately, as soon as the kids found out that she had scored so well, they began ruthlessly teasing her. One kid called her "Teacher's Pet." That's not so bad. What made it worse was when they started talking about the sexual favors she must have exchanged and called her a traitor to the other kids as well as not being true to her race. That's right. Because the other kids had scored so low, and she didn't, that meant she wasn't, "black." Once again, I'm not kidding. They kept talking about how white her skin was, etc., etc. With so much being thrown at her, she started to cry. Well, I wasn't going to stand for it. I quickly shut down the kids who were causing the problems, and then I gave them a very evil punishment. I made them go out in the hall, I grabbed a few textbooks off the shelves, and they had to hold out their arms with the textbooks in their hands. If the books droppped, they would go to the office to be punished. If they managed to stand there with the books out for ten minutes, I would only chastise them. What happened, you ask? Two kids dropped the books right away and were sent to the office. As this was their fourth time there, they aren't coming back. One kid made it, and then he apologized to her. Did he mean it? I have no clue.
Yeah, Tuesday is going to be very hard for these kids. Most of them aren't going to get credit for the class, because they haven't been doing to work or showing up. They love to talk to each other all the time, but you can't talk at all during the BST, or you'll be thrown out. Think about that: five weeks of work and sitting in an incredibly hot building only to blow it on the day of the test. The whole reason you're there, gone. All because you couldn't be quiet for two hours.
If none of the numbers change drastically next week, this will be the final tally:
Period 1: 12 kids (lost ten from the first day). 5 kids will get credit for the class. Probably 2 will pass the BST.
Period 2: 19 kids (lost seven from the first day). 3 kids will get credit for the class. Probably 4, maybe 5 will pass the BST.
So, that means out of 31, 8 will get credit and 6 will pass the BST. That's LOW! It makes me feel like a bad teacher. Granted, I can only do so much, but it still frustrates me that it's happening on my watch.