Do the numbers lie?

10 months. That’s a long time. A long time to be with 20 students. A long time to invest in each and everyone of them and their families. It’s a bond that will be with me forever.

That’s a school year. That is teaching. That is my life for 10 months.

When the final day of school comes, it’s received different by everyone. My students are moving on. My once great and powerful Oz voice that existed in September evaporated into a shell of itself in the month of June.

That is the conclusion of the school year for the majority as my two oldest children are ready for an activity filled summer.

My pregnant wife, Kellie, is ready for me to go from Mr. Rubin to just Jon and Dad.

And then there is Sawyer.

Sawyer had the quickest of turnarounds out of all. He finished school, had two days off, and went back to his extended school year without missing a beat.

He loves the small bus. He loves getting on it. He loves working with his teachers. He loves the playground as his giggle echoes across the air while he bounds towards the swing.

He loves coming home as he even gives me a squeeze. I pause when this happens. I don’t get a hug often as it’s typically saved for his mom. However, when he does, I look down on him, kiss his head and embrace the moment.

it’s all glory right now. Or it was until I opened Sawyer’s backpack.

His standardized test results were in his bag. Looking at them made me tilt my head back in forth a bit.

The teacher in me knows that it is only one data point. I’m fine with reading numbers that put him in any average or below average bracket. Test scores don’t define him.

My heartache in this stems more so thinking about how these assessments mean nothing to him.

His numbers attached to his name are just numbers. Those numbers don’t lie at the moment he was working. I’m ok with that. It’s the reality of data.

What is difficult for me with Sawyer is that for someone who doesn’t know him may infer that he is below average and that irks me.

It bothers me because of the amount of effort that it has taken from his teachers. They work they have put in to get him to this point to arrive at answers it such an accomplishment that it trumps the result.

The path was far greater than the result. So the numbers did lie from a certain point of view.

We just have to keep changing the world regardless of what the numbers say.

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