Outside: What the hell?? Doesn’t this look like a 3? This is a proficient writer! Just read this!!
Inside: Goddamn, none of my kids passed the district writing test…Jeez not even Leonard…my best writer…do I dare share this with parents?
Outside: Where is that coach? Maybe she can explain some of this nonsense. Just ridiculous. In my twenty years of teaching, this has never happened. We need to let admin know about this too! Absolutely ridiculous!!
Inside: If I show this to parents, they might ask questions…stuff like what am I doing to help their kid… Writing is on my schedule. I make time for it, I tell them what to write about and I show them how to get started, then I let them write, for long stretches of time, just like we’ve been told.
Outside: I still can’t believe this! Just look at this! This kid got a 2 for focus, how do you get a 2? Read it!
Inside: This is always how I taught writing. This is exactly how I told kids to start their opinion essay. They always got proficient on these tests. Why are these not 3 anymore? What did I miss?
Outside: Just because they don’t have a hook? A 2 in focus?? Get the reader’s attention? Show me where it says that!! Is that part of the standard??
Inside: Gulp! I never taught my kids to grab the reader’s attention…why is that necessary with opinion writing? I always taught them to say, “In my opinion…” and the stronger writers learned to write, “In my strong opinion…” That’s what I always did…
Outside: Part of our curriculum!! What? Of course I’m using the Calkins stuff!
Inside: Uh-oh, no I am not…
Outside: I do have writers workshop, it’s on my schedule!
Inside: What the hell is workshop? Tired of hearing that word!!
Outside: Look, you need to go and tell the district that this is nonsense! The bar is being set too high!! I always get 3s every year!! Every year!!
Inside: Dammit!! I need to figure out what is workshop…
Outside: (waving papers in the air) I know these deserve a 3!! I want them rescored!!
Inside: Because I am afraid that it will get found out that maybe I just don’t teach writing…
Outside: These are top students and they deserve 3s!! Look at how much they wrote!!
Inside: How can this be? These kids are smart, they come from affluent families, there is no way that none of them passed this writing baloney of a test…
Outside: (trudging to classroom, shaking head from side to side) How dare they say my kids are not proficient!!
Inside: (deep sigh) This is their fault…my teaching is just fine…will need to find that Calkins stuff…
Outside: (Slams door to classroom, sits at desk. Stares at student writing)
Inside: What do I do now?