Friday, April 15, 2011


This week I learned two things...first - I really enjoy sharing ideas with other teachers and secondly - that I am headed to the dark side and have truly started teaching to the assessment. On Tuesday of this week, I had the opportunity to leave the building. This was really cool for me. I haven't been gone but a half day all year. The other part, is that I am in a group of teachers that is rewriting the curriculum for the entire 7th grade Literacy. I felt very good to be asked to participate with this group of teachers. Without getting into all the details, it was a productive meeting AND it was interesting to hear all the things that are going on around in the district. It was nice to connect and reconnect to other teachers in the district. I really did enjoy the day. And we got A LOT done! :-) The second thing - which has slowly been a depressing insight to me, is that we have truly started teaching to the assessments. Last Friday and this Thursday we had the kids take assessments to see if what we covered they were able to learn and understand. The results were very telling. I found myself sitting down last night and trying to figure out how to get the kids to pass the next assessment by teaching almost, with the same terminology, the test we will have during the next term. Today I sat and talked with the students. I told them how they did on both assessments and then I laid it on the line. I said that we had to figure out a way to do better on the next assessments. I told them that we'd sit down after the pretest, go over the answers and talk through ways to get them to the answers that they needed for the post I did this - I cringed inside. While I understand the benefit of assessing students, I don't agree with how we're are being asked to do this. I wish people would understand that these assessments are not how we show what our kids know. These assessments only show how they did THAT day. It's only a score on a piece of paper. Unfortunately, what people should be looking at, is not what the nation wants to look's the other assessments we do, the observations we make, the mental notes we take - it's just so hard sometimes. I guess I'm just tired. It's getting to be the end of the year...the kids are tired and done. It's going to be an every day conversation to keep them as on task as they can be for a while...I'm hoping that they can do it....I'm hoping that I can do it.

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