Monday, January 24, 2011


Tonight it was difficult to to decide what to write about. I had a really good day and it was hard to choose just one thing to write about. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of one of my student's reactions today.

This time of year we are in the middle of reading assessments. The assessment tool that my district uses is pretty time consuming but gives really good information on each of my students reading progress. I like seeing what kind of improvement my students make from each testing window to the next on this assessment.

The students, on the other hand, do not enjoy this process. Some of them don't mind, but I have SEVERAL that just want to be "done." Meaning, they don't care what the test says, they just want to be done so they can move on to something else. ANYTHING else. *grin*

One of those students is TOUGH to motivate. On Friday we did an assessment and I graded it before the end of the day, and the student passed the level so I emailed the parents of the student. I showed the student the email I sent and the response I got back before he left my classroom. After that the kid left my room, skipping!

Today we did the next level of the reading assessment, and I could tell that the student REALLY worked hard and wanted to go on to the next level of the assessment. When the student was done, I did my whole-group lesson with the students.

After teaching the group and getting the students to work on their independent work, I sat down and graded the assessment. THE STUDENT PASSED!!! I was so excited, but I know that with this student it's better to keep it low-key. I turned to the student and mouthed the words, "you passed" and then I saw a little fist pump and a grin.

Then the student asked me if I was going to email the parental unit again, and wanted to know what I was going to say. I invited the student over to my desk as I wrote the email. I was sure to end with "I'm so so so so so so so so so so proud!" The kid grinned ear-to-ear! It was GREAT!

It really has made me think a lot about how we're all a work-in-progress. The kid was SO excited at the end of class that it just made ME happy! The thing about it all is that I've always known that the kid was capable of it. The student just didn't know it! Honestly, I predict the student will go up two more levels before reaching the ceiling. It wasn't new to me, but it was new to the kid.

I think that's how we are with God. God always knows what we will do, what we believe we can't do, and everything else in between. And, just like with this kid today, God is patient and strategic in dealing with us as His kids. I know that I strive each day to live before His eyes, wanting to be pleasing to Him. I also know that when I mess up, He knows that and loves me unconditionally. *grin*

I also think He enjoys us while we are in the "Improvement" process. I know that I CAN'T WAIT to see what my student does tomorrow, and the excitement that will come with the grading of the assessment. Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of the kid for the effort he has given so far. Just as I know that God is proud of me!


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