Miss Bennett in the Bay

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 22 2010

Results and Reflections

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:
advanced: 63%
proficient: 27%
basic: 9%
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.

3 Responses

  1. Hooray! Congrats Chris!

  2. Personally, I would like to encourage you to at least consider going back to the classroom (though maybe not THAT classroom) one day. Not all schools are places where you would have “kept hearing was that [your] hard work wasn’t good enough.”

    You know, rather than TEACH for America, it should be ADMINISTRATE for America. And the focus would be on training people who could hire and retain great teachers…

  3. Good for you. Today I received a letter from a former student, who had been a pain in the butt, thanking me for all the good stuff I did for her. She has moved to Anaheim and is enrolled in college, doing just fine. OH. MY. GOSH. So I know how you feel. I was doing so well, and I left. YES. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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About this Blog

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost." -J. R. R. Tolkien

Region
Bay Area
Grade
Elementary School
Subject
Elementary Education

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