21 September 2006

Happy Dance

I got to go and do a bit of celebrating on Monday night. I helped a fifth grade teacher last year with science instruction. Her students had fared poorly on the state assessment the previous year and she decided to see what could be done to help her current crop of charges. I went out and worked with her students twice. She used released items from previous assessments to gauge their progress---we looked at things together and talked about what else kids could do. Then, we held our breath for the results.

Her kids did very well. She tripled the number who met the standard...and had another three within five points. That accounts for nearly half of her students and was a far cry from the three who passed the previous year.

She deserved to do her happy dance. She actively sought out help, cared enough to keep trying, and is further enthused about learning and sharing with her peers. You know things are good when someone's husband stops by your desk twice to thank you, too.

She's worried that I'll be too "popular" this year to come out and work with her students again. It's true, I do have more on my plate and more teachers to think about. But her kids are my kids and I'll make some time to go out. She's also worried about getting her peers on board...how to be enthusiastic without gloating. We'll work on that, too, through the cadre. I'll take these little victories any way I can get them.

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