Saturday, May 31, 2008

Latest Evidence of my CNP

I regularly have moments were I realise the true magnitude of my CNP (What is CNP?).

Such as yesterday, when Haki said, “We should get a cat so I can take photos of it doing funny stuff,” and I replied, “Would you start a blog?" (pause) "I’d link to you.” The latter part of this was said as though I was offering the greatest of services.

This comment made me think about how my brain works, and how the geek in me wants him to say “yes”, and is carefully calculating the potential benefits of my husband also having a blog.

Today, I again had such a moment of evidence of my CNP.

This week I administered a post-test for a geometry unit. I love post-tests. I love them for so many reasons. I love that they make teachers look good (most anyway), I love students’ faces upon receiving their improved results, I love seeing the things I have failed to teach sufficiently so I can remedy it, and finally, I love analysing the statistical data. Of course.

I believe feedback after an assessment is rendered virtually useless if not delivered promptly. Did you ever get an essay or test back a month after completing it? You simply can’t pour over it the same. Also, you don’t search for a particular question or section to see if you were correct, because you just don’t remember doing it. You don’t care anymore.

So, with all of this in mind, consider my reaction when Thursday – the day I had the test scheduled (and had had students write in their diaries was the test date, and put it in the daily school notices it was the date) – maths was cancelled. Yes, cancelled.

I took deep breaths, and set about resolving the matter. I administered the assessment Friday, and frantically marked it during lunch-time, sending little slips up to each student in their home-room listing their pre- and post- test scores. I didn’t get through marking them all. It was not good enough. I also didn’t like that they could not see the graphs on the board of the entire class’ improvement.

So…today I emailed each student’s parents (of course I have all of their emails) with a template email I drafted, inserted their scores, and attached a pdf document with graphs showing individual and class improvement, along with a table of the range, mean, median and mode of the class’ scores.

I was satisfied.

Until a friend, Adam, came onto gmail chat and asked what I was up to. I was satisfied until Adam said, “I’m sure you supplied the standard deviation.”

It was at this point that I frantically returned to my spreadsheet, found the standard deviation and was compelled to send a blind carbon copied email to all of the parents with the subject “post scriptum”, and a message supplied the standard deviation, “in case” any should care to know. That’s right, I used “spreadsheet”, “standard deviation”, “BCC”, and “post scriptum” in a single sentence.

After I had sent this message, I had this moment of realisation once again, that there are some realms of my life in which I feel I have control, and can do my absolute best, and therefore, I do. And that this provides a release of endorphin-like satisfaction that could motivate an entirely new blog in and of itself. I would call it “thecompartmentalisedneuroticperfectionist” of course. I am now carefully calculating the benefits of pursuing this course. And now I am discarding the thought, because I settled on a more broad definition for my writing outlet initially for a reason – I don’t want to limit my writing to one type of writing or topic; I am more than just my CNP.

May I add, post scriptum, that my maths class' improvement was awesome...the mean went from 48.7 to 111.9.
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