Thursday, May 3, 2012

Random Thoughts Thursdays

Sketches of students faces while testing.
They all looked so miserable.
 I figured in my quest to reorganize my blog I would need a day to rant about something not related to my art directly.  So, Thursdays have been designated "Random Thoughts Thursdays."

This week has been exhausting, and people who know me are probably thinking "When are your weeks not exhausting?"  True, I take on a lot of different activities, or extremely huge projects that consume me.  But this week was the week I have dreaded all year...state testing week!  It is so exhausting.  This year, we tested students in our own classrooms instead of corralling them into the gym.  I actually liked having my students in my class and administering the test wasn't so horrible. What surprised me was how draining and exhausting it was to watch students take tests for 3 hours!  I can only imagine how my students felt after taking their tests.  A friend of mine compared administering the test to watching grass grow or paint dry.  It is so true! I do have to say my kids were rock stars!  They didn't complain or rush through the exams.  They seemed to take it seriously and do the best they could. 

I am not a fan of state testing.  I think it is ridiculous to judge student learning from a multiple choice test.  Everyone has a different style of learning: visual, auditory, or kinetic.  If we learn in these styles, why are we testing knowledge that doesn't address them?  With all of the studies that have been done, you would think there would be a better method.   But we are creatures of habit, and to make such a change would be a difficult one to maneuver.  It is just disheartening to see the arts get pushed aside because test scores are low, or due to budget cuts. *SIGH* But I'm beginning to get into a topic that becomes depressing for me, so I'll stop here.

In addition to testing week, we had our awards ceremony, The Golden Bear, on Wednesday night.  The Golden Bear Awards show is where departments select students who demonstrate great skill, knowledge and passion.  Any grade level can be nominated.  My colleague/guy best friend and I present the Golden Bear Award for the Visual Arts Department. We are second to LAST to present and by the time we get to the stage everyone has checked out.  It is a little sad, so for the past 3 years we have done something to liven things up.  The first year we wore masks of the other 2 art teachers' faces.  We got a few laughs for that one.  I can't remember what we did last year.  But this year, we made our winner a very colorful crown!  We do these things in hopes that they will get tired of our antics and put us at the beginning of the show to get us out of the way.  But I think they look forward to what we might do.  Even though it is always during an exhausting week, or around the testing schedule, it is always nice to see the kids get dressed up and walk on stage.  We have so many talented students!

I would say I'm looking forward to the week almost being over, but this weekend proves to be just as busy.  At least I will be able to sleep in a little bit...hopefully!

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