First things first: I’m pretty convinced there’s not gonna be school tomorrow. Again. The prediction for tomorrow morning between five and seven AM has windchill temperatures in between twenty and twenty-five degrees below zero. It’s supposed to warm up quickly after about nine or ten o’clock, and be almost civilized by the end of the day, but I just don’t see any way that they’re making kids walk to school/wait for buses in that kind of wind chill. Twenty below has been the trigger for the last several school closings and there’s no good reason to assume tomorrow will be any different.
I had tests planned for today for both of my seventh grade groups but the eighth grade test was scheduled for tomorrow. I spent most of my time in the gym before school grabbing my algebra kids and saying things like “Hey, remember how I said there was a test tomorrow? I lied. It’s today.” It is either a sign that my kids really like me or that they just don’t care that much about their grades that none of them bothered to gripe about not having time to study.
My seventh graders, though, knew that there was a test today. We’ve been talking about it for a week and reviewing for a couple of days. And for both of my goddamn groups today they knew what slope was and how it worked during the first class period and then bombed the shit out of what should have been a pretty easy test during the second. And I have no idea why. I bet if I give it to them again tomorrow or Monday they’ll do goddamn fine. But not today, for whatever reason, even though I was getting correct answers to everything I threw at them during the first period of class when we were reviewing.
Lesson is: sometimes kids don’t know shit, even if they knew shit before, and you can’t always predict when those days will happen. My first and second hour kids got the worst results I have ever seen as a math teacher on their window test today. And again: it was not a hard test. That record lasted an hour and forty minutes, until my third and fourth hour kids took the same test and did even worse. If today had been ISTEP day they’d have fired me already. And the next test we take they might get the highest scores in the seventh grade. What happened? Hell if I know. They knew it and then they didn’t. And that’s just the fuck how it works sometimes.
We’ll post-mortem it on Monday, I guess. Er… well, maybe tomorrow. But I kinda doubt it.