Wednesday, November 29, 2006


At the beginning of the semester, those three letters were the most dreaded in the alphabet. They stand for Teacher Work Sample. All across America, aspiring teachers plan a unit for a class they are in a practicum or internship with. They do a pre-test on the children, plan the unit, and the post-test. Then they compare the two different tests to see what the kids learned. Then they write about 30 pages about what they did and why.

The length didn't intimidate me. It was the requirements. There were about 7 parts to the paper and in each part, I had to include certain things. Mess something up, and my score is lowered. Plus, in education, if you mess one thing up, it affected the rest. So if I had messed up one section, the rest of the paper would have been in jeopardy. And there's the whole proving I can actually teach something to children. Oh yeah, and if I fail the TWS I repeat the semester.

I turned this bad boy in about a month and a half ago. We submit assignments online. I knew that it would be a while before I got my score, so I didn't check it often. Sort of a watched pot never boils sort of thing.

I checked on Thanksgiving, knowing the woman who graded it would get a lot done over the break. The score was in. I clicked the link that showed the assessment, and read every rubric to each section. "Indicator met, indicator met, indicator met" was all I saw. I looked through about 4 times, expecting to see some sort of "needs improvement" or something. Surely I left something out.

Nope, I had gotten a 100. And the comments from the instructor were positive as well.

Charlie and I were both very excited when I found this out. Not only do I pass the semester, not only do I use this in my portfolio that potential employers look at, but I actually know what I'm doing. As excited as I was then, I went to class on Tuesday sort of convinced it wasn't a big deal. Maybe it was easier to get a good grade than I thought. During class, my teacher (who graded it) asked me to stay after for a minute.

After everyone left, she said "You got a 100 on your TWS."

"Yeah, I saw. I was really excited," I replied nonchalantly, and a little embarrassed.

"Diana, you are the only one who got a 100. Your work blew me away. I thought you would like to hear that."

As you can imagine, that made my day. Heck, that made my whole semester. There are some things that I know I do well, and then there are things I need to be told I do well. I feel a lot more confident going into next semester (and getting ready for next semester's TWS). I can't wait to start my student teaching!

Oh, and one of my best friends failed hers. They're reexamining her work and may have her redo parts. Of course, there's the chance she may have to repeat the whole semester.

The picture is a sample of student work I had to include in the TWS.


bigsip said...

That's great Di!

Keep up the good work!

Brewster said...

Very super great Diana. congrats!

Jamison said...

I see no picture, but I do want to say that you do a good blog. you are a good writer. I enjoy reading your writings and still to this day one of my fave blogs is the story of the phsycho former employee yelling at you... you should blog more often... assuming the topic is blog worthy ;)

And well done on the school thingy!

Brewster said...

Let me second that emotion. You really are a good writer. You have a very natural style that flows extremely well. It's always a joy to read, and I hope you can do more of it.

Of course we all understand how work and school and Charlie (especially Charlie) can be demanding and not leave you time to write.

bigsip said...

Yes, you write well. It'll come in very handy in your teaching, believe you me.

BTW, I just finished my interview at RE Lee High School. It went great!

The Vice Principal said she was very impressed and that my resume was one of the best she'd seen. She also thought it was the best of the current applicants, but I still have to wait for a week or two to find out about whether or not I'll get the job.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Ryan F. said...

That's great! You should be proud!

mmullinz8 said...

Di, wonderful news! I'm sure you'll be filling those little minds before you know it.

For what it's worth I'm proud of you.

Keep blogging, we miss you.

Diana said...

Thanks, guys. That means a lot to me!!! I enjoy writing but never have much to write about. I've had a crazy semester.

Sorry about the picture thing. I've had picture posting problems on here before. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong...

Thanks again! I'm sure I'll have many intersting stories next semester!

Oh, and good luck with the teaching thing, Josh. I would be so happy seeing you with a job you enjoy!