One of the crazy things that teachers have to contend with is the expectation that the state (and the country, with the No Child Left Behind mandates) has for students who fall in the crack, intellectually-speaking.
For example, I have some students right now, in my regular class, who have an IQ of 71 or 72. It used to be that 70 was considered mentally retarded. I think it has changed to a number under 70. (That is so less kids will qualify for special help. And the term is now ID--"intellectually delayed." However, that term hints that eventually they will "catch up," which is never the case. If their IQ is that low, they will always be behind...)
|photo by peter_kucerka|
I know that some number has to be decided upon. I get that. However, there is not a lot of difference in the capabilities of a student who has a 68 IQ and one that has a 72. It's not as if they are not prepared for grade level work under the 70 line, and once they cross that line, they magically can do the sophisticated problem-solving and concluding that is necessary in the third grade.
The state, in its stupidity, expects that all students will excel at high levels on the state test. Even the ones who are ID. They read at a level two or three grade levels below the grade they're in, they interrupt a lesson on measuring with the excited comment, "Mrs. R, I got a new book bag!", they cannot add 2 + 4, but the state does not want to hear any "excuses" about why these kiddoes won't score in the proficient/advanced range. They just keep putting the pressure on.
In the past, there were lots of jokes about people going "postal" because of the frequency of postal employees getting angry and shooting the place up.
If things do not change, soon the phrase will be "going teacher" because we have lots of valid reasons to be
"mad as all get-out, and we're not going to take it anymore!"