Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

Wherein I write a T-TESS essay because I can’t (don’t want to) do laundry

T-TESS thoughts on a night I’m worried about not having my washer and dryer:

I’ll be real honest. With all the talk about VAM and giving schools a letter grade based on test scores and merit pay and charters taking over the world and eating up all education funds, I was prepared to hate T-TESS because it came from Morath’s office.

Maybe I’m naive, God knows I have been before, but I don’t see T-TESS as a negative after our training yesterday. I left feeling like it was a chance to really talk to your leadership team on campus about what you do in your classroom and to get regular feedback that will help you grow as a teacher.

Unlike PDAS and whatever it was before, this seems real. Maybe that has something to do with my years of “met the standard” scores on critical thinking skills shown by students when my kids literally take a blank 2-page spread and turn it into a beautiful layout with amazing stories they had to interview multiple sources to even get to the point of writing (and rewriting and revising and editing), captions that didn’t suck (and let me tell you right now THAT is a freakin’ miracle), beautifully composed photos that tell a story and show emotion and all of that is done while using InDesign and PhotoShop, two programs they learned in the first 30 days of class and mastered over the course of a year. Met the standard? I don’t think so. They knocked that standard into the next universe. Not that I’m bitter or anything, lol.

No, really. Not bitter. Because those evaluations were a game. Check, check, check, add it up, sign, yay good teacher! Game.

If you were a struggling teacher, same thing. Check, check, check, add it up, growth plan needed, that’s too bad! Game. 

That’s a harsh example. I know it wasn’t always like that for struggling educators, but the evaluation systems I’ve seen have done ZERO to make me a better educator, foster discussion with my campus admin or push me to study my craft.

T-TESS does that AND it gives guidance at the same time. It’s not bad. At least as of now it’s not bad. As long as someone doesn’t decide to pay bonuses for T-TESS or screw it up another way, I’m all for it. 

The big reason: T-TESS makes it abundantly clear the teacher in the classroom has a direct impact on quality education. Not a computer or a robot or whatever new space age technology comes along with some guy trying to make a buck talking about how teachers aren’t a necessary component of education any more. 

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this instead of finishing lesson plans or doing laundry. I’ve put off lesson plans because I have a basic framework sketched, but I’m waiting until I’ve slept enough to flesh out the plans. I haven’t done laundry because my washer and dryer are still in Wichita Falls and I’m not washing my LuLaRoe at the community laundry center. I might need an LLR intervention.

No laundry and no bookcase for my yearbooks. Boo. 😢

This moving to a new city is hard! Kids start Monday. I bet I don’t sleep Sunday. 😊 I might be in a new city, but I bet that doesn’t change.



Big Brother brought me to a mini temper tantrum last night. And not because of what was on TV.

Let me back up a minute.

It started with a neighbor and her bulldog out on a walk at the same time I was on a walk. Seeing them together tugged at my heart strings because I miss Emmie. She’s staying in Wichita Falls right now. 😢

Still, I was fine until my mother-in-law texted about BB. Suddenly this whole living without TV and wifi seemed a whole lot less Waldenesque and a whole lot more back country primitive. I mean we’re not talking leaves for toilet paper here, but I’m missing Big Brother and the Olympics and House Hunters International. I love House Hunters International.

Two BB texts in I called Direct TV and got prices. Then I called DH and relayed said prices. Then I steamed while he listed all the reasonable reasons we’d come up with a month ago NOT to connect right away.

Then I turned on Harry Connick Jr and did lesson plans, but it wasn’t easy.

Who would have guessed Big Brother would bring on a melt down? Not me.