What the heck am I thinking?

December 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm 3 comments

So, since my life is one big knotted hank of yarn, I figure I’ll throw one more monkey wrench into my works.

What you ask?

I’ve finally come to the conclusion of what I really want to do.  And I did something that is now scaring the pants off of me.

I signed up for the entrance exam for LPN school.

Here’s why…

First off, I’m so dissolusioned with the education system on BOTH coasts. It’s no longer about what is best for the students, it’s all about the social efficiency model of education. Teach to the test and the test will be how the teacher is ranked and rated and how people see that the children are learning. I am SO not a social efficiency person. I think standardized tests are bunk and what No Child Left Behind is doing is killing the teachers and not helping the students. It maintains a “drill and kill” method of education that should have been thrown out long ago. I had a colleague who used to call this “every teacher left in its wake.” Yeah. that’s about what it is. People using point systems to make sure teachers are “Highly qualified.” In California, you dont’ even have to have a master’s degree to be “Highly qualified.” What the heck?

Although education is on a pendulum, this one’s not swinging any time soon to the side or nearer to the side I want it to be on.  For those of you who don’t know, my BS is in Special Education, while my MS is in Educational Technology. 

 As a sped teacher, I’ve seen my students sit and sob when the annual standardized tests came out. I had to actually hold one in my arms while he sobbed because he could not read the dang reading passages, and I couldn’t give it to him at his level, because that would render the test “non standard” and that was not an accomodation I could give. I watched my students stress…and even had one get so creative that she bubbled the name of a popular boy band into her test grid. That was acutally hilarious. When I told her mother that one, and took a photo copy of it to show her, we all actually laughed together…after she was done being mortified.

As a teacher, I’ve dealt with administrators who think they have a clue,a nd really don’t. I’ve had ones that have told me how much homework I am to give. That was rich, considering that all of my students had “reduced homework” on their IEPs. I’ve also had administrators who make it hard for me to walk in the door, because who knows what I’m doing wrong to get the core curriculum through to these kids. Yes, my methods are a bit unorthodox, but come the heck on! These kids HAVE to learn somehow!  Every kid can learn the material if presented in an engaging way. I had my kids singing every day…even at 8th grade. We did mock trials, we did things that were “out there” but did they know the stuff? Yep. 

I’ve tried setting foot into a classrom. I am sick when I do. The thought of getting up in the morning every day and having my own classroom again makes me even sicker.  It makes me even sicker than that to think that I’d be back in charge and dealing with all of the garbage that I dealt with for years. I don’t mind planning, I don’t mind giving my time on the weekend, but I do mind what’s going on in the schools. I do mind meddling administrators who haven’t been in a classroom for EONS. I do mind having to do the administrator’s work under the table and correct reports that are dead wrong. I can’t watch another group of sped kids go through a test season and watch them sob, tune out and act up because they can’t take it. It kills my heart. It kills me to know that there’s nothing I can do to make their lives easier. It hurts me to tell them that they can’t take this class or this class or even do what they want because they don’t have the prerequisites.

 I also don’t have the backbone anymore to go into a class of emotionally disturbed kids and take the things you have to take from them. 

 I cannot wake up every morning trying to convince myself that I love what I do.

In short. I’m burnt. One of the things that I swore would never happen…happened. I’m completely burnt out wiht nothing left to give a school or a classroom.  But I lasted 7 years. the national average is 5.

So, back to the tale of why nursing.

When Doug was in nursing school, I was able to push him to get the grades and the material down. We even had “board” competitions with me on one computer and him on the other. It would totally piss him off if I did better than he did, considering he just completed the course. I had his instructors asking me when I was coming to get my LPN because they couldn’t wait to have me in their class. I poo-poo’d them and told them I liked what I was doing. At the time I wasn’t lying.

Now, here I am 4 years down the road, deciding that this is what I want to do, and singning up for a fill in the bubbles test like the ones I can’t stand as a teacher. It’s one of those 3 hour “timed section” tests that I can’t stand. Bah.

But for those of you who know your statistics and research protocols…I only have to make the 25th percentile.

and bring 2 #2 pencils.

and not fold, mutilate or staple the answer sheet.

Someone explain to me what the heck I’m thinking taking a standardized test?

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Entry filed under: insanity.

Hubcaps? On the first day of Christmas…

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. M  |  December 2, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Congratulations, i think. 🙂 you’re taking it b’cause standardized tests are so EASY, aren’t you?

    Seriously, if you want to be a nurse, go for it. The world needs anyone who can help.

    Reply
  • 2. Secret Santa  |  December 2, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    ::Applause!! Applause!!::

    Reply
  • 3. Lily Scrimgeour  |  December 3, 2007 at 3:22 am

    I agree – go for it. And I wholeheartedly agree on the education front – I never even made it in before they burnt me, after only three years of elementary education classes.

    Reply

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