Not Another Cliché

Would I be wrong in assuming every teacher has had to do something in their classroom for compliance sake? Most of the time, it is a matter of paperwork to prove to someone, several years removed from the classroom, that you’re implementing what they have put in place, no matter how ineffective or illogical their initiative may be.

Would it be safe to assume most teachers feel stuck in this position with no room to continue practices that really meet the needs of their students? I was there a couple of months ago, feeling that very same way. Until I remembered how I’ve lived majority of my life out of the box, causing some people to even called me weird. But here’s what weird people do, they take what’s given to them and make it fit their lifestyle. Let me be a little more specific.

Every Friday, we are REQUIRED to implement a CFA over content in which the entire grade level showed an area of weakness. For the 1st twenty minutes of every class period, we have CQI time (I still don’t know what it stands for), going over previously taught or previewing concepts indicated as a low performance area. On Friday, we give an assessment to collect data, which I sometimes use to determine the learning targets to address in small group rotation.

Another thing we are REQUIRED to do is give a skills test called Big 20. It covers the main skills addressed in the 7th grade, many we have yet to discuss during the core lessons. The data collected from this has not impact what so ever on my instruction. Let me rephrase that, it has no positive impact on my instruction, it actually takes time away from quality instructional opportunities, leaving only 4 days a week for instruction.

This isn’t a post about complaints without action. This is a post about how to take life and make it what you need it to be.



Friday’s now are sort of self directed. I normally post a flow chart of options for students. The CFA and Big 20 are staples per directives from administration, however there are many other options once students have completed them. Students have the option of taking mastery tests, completing assignments, working on the Question of the Week, playing a math game and even coming to work with me at the small group table. Often times, they end up helping one another leaving me to be the adult supervisor in the room.

You can insert your favorite related cliché here.


  1. Well said! Actually, this is beautiful. You’ve taken something you disagree with philosophically and you’ve found a way to make it work for you and, most importantly, your students.
    Box? Not sure there is one anymore. Way to turn a possible negative into a positive! Love your passion. Great post!

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