I was right about H.D. We finally got the records from his old school, and he's supposed to be receiving special ed. services. We have another student, S.S., whom we suspect the same of, but we can't seem to get his old school to release his records. S.S.'s mother says he's not special ed, but there is something definitely different about him.
Classes have finally settled into a rhythm now, the students have their textbooks, my reading students are properly placed, and we just finished reading Flowers for Algernon. we used to spend two or even three weeks reading that story, talking about it in class, and there were several writing assignments I gave students that connected their own lives to the story. No more. The textbook only allocates one week for this unit, and all my own writing assignments are out the window.
I've said before, the standards are basically a good idea; it's the "accountability" factor that messes things up. We have to give the same tests to all students, or we won't know who's teaching what properly, and who's not. Even though I'm very well versed in the 62 state standards, no one cares about my or any other teacher's expertise. We have the text book, which provides common assessment, therefore, that's what we're going to use.
I love my job when I'm with my students and I love my job when I'm planning out lessons. I get to use my brain, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. It feels like some of that is being taken away each year, until one day I worry I'll wake up, and just be a living tape recorder, playing back the script of pre-packaged lessons.