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Monday, April 9, 2012

Participles? Really?

I woke up yesterday thinking about participles. Not just the joy and beauty of a simple participle to grace a sentence. My feeling was one of panic--two weeks until the ISAT's (the standardized test given each year in the great state of Idaho upon which NOW rests a school's very existence), and I don't think I've taught participles yet. The stakes are high this year. The state withheld money (as in from our salaries...insert eery music and doubletakes) with the edict that we could get it back in the form of bonuses (come again?????) IF our students proved proficient. Furthermore, only math and English are tested. I'll leave the kind reader to extrapolate the cosmic implications of such a system. Wait! It gets better! The bonuses of ALL teachers in the school rest on the students' performances on the test. In other words, SOME necks in the school are lined up on the guillotine,and all eyes are watching. Angst?? One of my fellow English teachers is developing a constant pain right below her sternum. Another says her sleep is down about 40%. So is it any wonder that instead of waking up contemplating the glory of Easter or even the dawn of a beautiful spring day I'm being shaken awake in the mouth of a rabid beast whose name is Participle...? It hurts my brain. Speaking of which--

• The human skull contains 22 bones.

• Your brain is more active and thinks more at night than during the day.

• The brain stops growing at age 15, but learning never stops.

• The spinal cord and nerves—known as the nervous system—let messages flow

back and forth between the brain and the body.

• We actually “see” with our brains; the eye is basically a camera.

• The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

• The average person has 32 teeth.

• Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never

stop growing.

• Your thumb is the same length as your nose

I'd like to take my thumb and wedge it right up the equal length nose of the suits who thought up Pay For Performance.

On the lighter side, enjoy this. Apparently this was completely spontaneous. The girl and her skateboard friend were just walking along and just happened to ask these guys for a tune. See if you find yourself wondering if the skateboard guy wishes he'd stuck with the music lessons.


Shelly said...

I only have 26 teeth.
Good luck on the tests. Have you tried laying it all out to the students so they know the exactly what their influence is?

Season said...

So if your nose never stops growing, does your thumb never stop growing? If not, how can it be the same length as your nose at all times? Or do noses just grow wider? So many new things for me to ponder on this day. P.S. I'm so against standardized testing. I'm such a horrible test taker.

Laura said...

Pay for performance is the most assinine thing I've ever heard of!! What if we applied that to every profession? My daughter's visit to the emergency room would have been waaaay cheaper cause that dr did a crap job sewing up her face. Just sayin!!

Taggart said...

I am actually a fan of pay for performance, but I don't think it translates well for teachers. You shouldn't be held accountable when there are so many other variable that can affect test scors, i.e. bad parenting, bad parenting, and bad parenting.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley