Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 15 2011

AIMS is over!

The feedback I keep getting on my blog is that it’s depressing. I’m not exactly sure how that happened, since I wouldn’t use that word to describe either my life or my job on a regular basis, but I guess it’s usually just the upsetting stuff that motivates me to write a new post. So let me say this:

My kids were rockstars on AIMS. They worked so incredibly hard on the math sections that I just wanted to hug them. On a test that’s only expected to take 45 minutes, I had more than half of my kids still working after an hour and a sizeable group still working after an hour and a half. I know that sounds like they were clueless, but my kids give up quickly when they don’t get something or don’t care about it. If they had felt lost and frustrated, the whole test would have taken ten minutes.

The fact that they took so long means they were thinking it through, doing the work out, and checking their answers. They were covering the test pages in calculations and then flipping to blank pages to do more work there. Granted, they often need so much time and space because I still have kids who use repeated addition instead of multiplying and kids who get the question miserably wrong and have to keep trying again. The amount of work they did and the time they took gives zero indication of their scores (about which I’m feeling pretty pessimistic) but it gives plenty of indication of the heart they put into it and the confidence they feel to at least give the whole thing a shot. And if I can take credit for even some of that then I’ve had a good year, because I was really, really proud as I watched them put heart and soul into their work this week.

2 Responses

  1. Woooo! You deserve to celebrate! :)

  2. Luanne A.

    Oh my gosh- so not depressing. I’ve just spent an hour reading your posts, and I can’t believe what a talented writer you are and how eloquently you describe your life in the classroom. I’m posting a link to your writing for my fellow [email protected] peers to read-

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