Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week 19 of 52

This is the time of year that it gets crazy. Just this past week, the Testing Season began, we had Open House, a Star Party and End-of-the-Year preparations. I'm not as young as I used to be and I need my beauty rest more than in the past. This past week has taken a toll and everyone, even the young at heart. Even amongst the madness, it is weeks like this that reminded me why I'm in public education.

Testing is always stressful with the affidavits, proctors, schedules, keeping materials under lock and key, make-up tests, attendance accounting. It's a good thing it only comes once a year. And the results, which are not available until August, determine how our entire school rates within the state of California with and API and an AYP. A little stress inducing, maybe? Testing is the obligatory part of every public school. Sort of like leeching in the Dark Ages. Do you see the similarities? We do this because it is required.

Open House is also required but the premise is for all of the students to share what they have been doing since the beginning of the school year. I is a happy time. Parents and family get to see how much their children have learned and students get to share how much more they know. At our Open House we have be having our Academic Challenge Science Super Quiz. This is my baby, based loosely on the Academic Decathlon in High School and I love it. Briefly, teams of students in grades 3 - 5 get together to earn individual and team medals in a public jeopardy-style game and the audience applauds all of their hard work. Well, seeing the students, teachers, coaches and families cheer, applaud, console and encourage these students. I remember why I work in public education. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

Two days later was the Star Party. This was, again another reason I love working in public education. A group of amateur astronomers bring their telescopes, their enthusiasm and their passion. This was a BLAST! I saw Saturn and it's rings along with the mountains of the moon. Truly awesome. That was exciting, but I also enjoyed the look on the faces of the families, and the amateur astronomers. It was joy of seeing something precious. It was exciting seeing everyone realize how rare a opportunity it was and that fact that we all shared it together. Wow! This is another event that reminds me why I'm in public education. The joy of learning. The joy of learning in community. Priceless. I hope you enjoy this photo I took at dusk of one of the astronomers who hooked his telescope up to a monitor and was able to show a group what they were looking at and did a little Q&A.

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