The 2010 CST results have finally come in. I must admit, I was a little hesitant to find them out, given that I’ve left the classroom and knowing the results would not help me in any way. But, a dinner party with old coworkers changed that. There were whisperings of my results, but I refused to believe them until I verified them myself on the California Department of Education website. We must remember that I was teaching only second grade math, and I was the only teacher for that subject area, so any results listed for second grade math are mine and mine alone. Talk about pressure.
Here we are:
below basic: 1%
far below basic: 0%
For those of you keeping track at home, that’s right, 90% of my students were proficient or advanced. That means about 8 kids didn’t get to proficient. Pretty darn good, I think.
Honestly, I nearly had a heart attack when I read those numbers. Here I am, faced with unequivocal evidence that I was a good teacher, and I’m walking away from the classroom. Initiate existential crisis.
Sure, I was miserable every single day last year, but look at how I helped the children! Shouldn’t I be sacrificing my own happiness for this greater cause?
Answer: absolutely not. The only reason I was even able to make it through the year without going completely crazy was because I knew it would all end soon. Going back and doing it again this year would have killed my soul, not to mention my marriage.
So, instead, I can walk away knowing I did an excellent job and that my students are prepared for the future. I suppose what I really should do is take my knowledge and use it to help other teachers, so that they might better teach their own students. I am doing this on some level with my job with TFA, and for now that’s enough to keep me satisfied. It is refreshing to do a job that is at once challenging yet gratifying, while having people be genuinely thankful for my work. That didn’t happen while I was teaching. Instead, it was challenging, but all I kept hearing was that my hard work wasn’t good enough. Well, now I know that it was good enough, and I’m going to use my talents for something even greater.