So...I officially got beef with ACT.
I have a class of young, yet decent writers - writers who can analyze the nuance of presidential speeches and other challenging texts - but still, they struggle with the ACT task. Do they counter all perspectives outside their own? Do they simply acknowledge that other views exist? Is it expository or argumentative?
Of course, I know the answer to these things, and I walked them through it this week, but in all honesty, I hate the ACT writing portion. It’s too scripted so that students’ writing becomes rigid and lifeless. The perspectives are often too thinly different to effectively discredit one over another, or the prompt itself is so obvious that every single student agrees with one of the perspectives.
Now, I know this isn’t ACT faults entirely. Students need to write on anything and do it well, but I just gotta blame someone. And ACT is responsible for possibly the most hectic afternoon of my year with their field test.
So pretty much I’m whining. Let’s move on.
Back to AP world this week! Aaaaand… its not really anything new. I posted most of this week’s plan previously when I thought we’d be doing synthesis earlier.
Here’s the “Student-10-Minutes-Before-The-Test” version.
I have to be honest with you. This time of year is terrible.
Not only does the end of quarter bring out all the worst parts of teaching (last minute work, conflict with students over grades, massive amounts of grading, etc), but we also got hit with winter.
Winter itself isn't that terrible, but the absence of the sun is. My depression is moderately seasonal, and therefore, when the sun goes, so does my spirit.
Teaching Sincerely is surprisingly one of the few ways that I can fight through it. Writing and being reflective (part of Teaching Sincerely) helps me process the mess that is my brain on low days, but it also reminds me what I am doing well.
Being reflective sometime means that I belabor a bad lesson or activity, but usually, reflection leads me to a sense of peace and confidence in the choices I make. It has always surprised me how sitting down for half of my prep just to write about how things are going shifts my mindset and helps me reset.
Weeks like this last one - where the weather is working against me, where I'm using my class time filling in ACT bubbles, where everything seems to be off - demand reflection. It helps me Teach Sincerely, but it also helps me breathe.