It has happened. Bless this town, this school, these CMs, because it has happened.
No, there wasn’t a light switch. No, students aren’t suddenly mastering the rigorous content we’re planning and throwing at them. No, students aren’t applying to college as I type.
But today, walking around our school, it was practically palpable. I ran into my school director who intentionally stopped to say, “This high school hallway has it! I have never seen AIH (Academic Intervention Hour) look like this. Today we are on this!” And it’s undeniably true.
Twenty minutes earlier one of my English 2 teachers (10th grade) came literally bouncing into our CMA room to say, “This is the best day ever! I had them all period! They are engaged and learning! And [other teacher who had significant management problems last week] is doing so well.”
This sounds phenomenally trite, even to myself as I write it. But it’s not fair to ignore it because this website makes everyone sound jaded. Today was a day where all of the corps members in my CMA group were bursting into flames. Students were smiling, teachers were candidly and authentically adding background knowledge and personal flavor that connected with students. As I observed a writing lesson about backing claims with evidence, the same bouncer CM held up an exit ticket for me to read that got 100%:
In “One of These Days” the mayor abuses his power worse. He embezzles money from the town because the dentist asks, “Send the money to you or the town,” and the mayor answers, “It’s the same damn thing”. Clearly from his response the reader can infer that the mayor uses the town’s money too, which implies that he abuses his power. The dentist abuses his power too but in a good way. He tells the mayor, “It has to be without anestesia,” insuring that he can inflict pan upon the mayor for his wrongs against the town. The mayor has also been accused of killing 20 men said by the dentist. This also implies that he abuses his power by sending people to war
Y’all, a week ago these CMs were literally getting two sentences for an exit ticket out of the same student. I think it’s completely inaccurate how some people (haaay, Gary) think emphasizing (not exclusively, I mean, but just emphasizing) investment in Institute isn’t practical for CMs until later in their careers. I think CMs need to invest students and invest themselves before they will start to recognize the reality of where their students really are now, or at least in tandem to understanding the massive amounts of data they’re collecting on a daily basis. If students are not invested, data is grossly inaccurate. This is what happened with the above student. One reason why his exit tickets from last week were so grossly below his ability is because he was entirely disinterested in the class. When investment became a priority (coupled with stronger planning, data analysis, management, and overall confidence of the teacher), the student showed the reality of his abilities and can now be pushed harder for the second half of Institute.
I have honest-to-God loved this job from the beginning, but today is what pours down passion. Seeing light bulb moments for my students is one thing I never thought of being paralleled, but seeing light bulb moments for teachers, that lead to exponential light bulb moments for kids is downright overwhelming. It’s oozing TFA koolaid (KEEP THEM CRAY COMMENTS COMIN’!), it’s dripping with investment, and it’s something I believe with my gut is valuable for student achievement.