Happy September, You're Developing!
By NY Sp Ed teacher
"The impact of tests, both on a local and state measure have come hammering down on me and many of my Special Ed colleagues this year. To say that I am enraged/upset/saddened/taken back is an understatement. The amount of hours I put into teaching is insane. I leave my house at 5:30 every morning to make sure I can get a parking space and prep for the day. (FYI my day doesn't start until 8:20 according to my contract.) In my career (and this is every year), I am potty training, teaching self hygiene, teaching self regulation, executive functioning, how to SPEAK for God's sake. I teach children how to hold a pencil, write their name, the fundamentals that they need and more. On top of that, I teach a ridiculous curriculum, mandated by NYS, to a self-contained class of what has been Kindergarten through 3rd graders, sometimes all in one class. I have taught class sizes from 12 to 17, when there were only supposed to be 12. This past year, my class was a mix of children with autism, children who are emotionally disturbed and unmedicated, children with speech and language impairments, and children who are learning disabled. In the time they were with me, these children made progress beyond your wildest dreams and that is because of me and my team, not some ridiculous curriculum.
According to my rating, my teaching was effective and the same went for my state measures. Where I apparently "fail" as a teacher is on my local measure. My children, as described above, were asked to take a writing exam in which they listened to and took notes on an informational text. From there they took their notes and were expected to write a paragraph or more relating to the topic. My children did as they were asked, to the best of their ability, when most came to me in the beginning unable to accurately write their name.
I am not sharing this to garner sympathy or cry "poor me," but rather to expose what this profession has become and how discombobulated this system is. I also want others to know that they are not alone when it comes to these ridiculous score adjustments.
Nothing says Happy September like a 'developing' rating."