December 10, 2013
It’s test time, again…still? I forget which. Well, whichever, my students are testing. And testing and testing. In fact, December school days are filled with assessment after assessment for my students. This bothers and upsets me, dear Readers. But, perhaps not for the reasons you may think.
At some point in the very near future, the federal government is looking forward to the state of Arizona using students’ test scores, in part, to evaluate teachers. I can’t wait. Nothing like putting your future in the hands of a bunch of 13 year-olds. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t be held accountable for how well I teach. I’m just saying that my accountability shouldn’t rest with the whims of my students.
I love my students. But, I know my students. The federal government does not know my students. The public, at large, would like to believe that all a student needs to ensure high test scores is a good teacher, the truth is certainly more messy. I can teach and I can re-teach. I can inspire and I can desire to do more. But the truth of the matter is, 13 year-olds are moody. Think about it, I have worked all quarter long to teach my students the standards. And when that didn’t work, I worked even harder to re-teach the standards. I feel I’ve come a long way. But sure enough, come test day, as we gather in the computer lab, at least two students will be absent, three will insist that they just have to go to the restroom, of whom, one never returns, and several will fly through their test just so they can use the remaining time to play games on the internet that they don’t have access to at home. Yeah, they’re going to do well.
I’m kidding! Of course they are going to do well. None of that stuff ever happens, I’m just making it up. Teenagers are not fickle creatures. Teenagers are not ruled by their emotions. This is where my worrying comes in. Students who test every school day in December are bound to get fed up with testing. Students who get fed up with testing are bound to get moody. Students who get moody are bound to…well, that would never happen.
I am going to continue to be a good teacher. I am going to continue to be an effective teacher. I am going to continue to believe, heart and soul, in my students. I am just going to have to continue to make sure that my worth as a teacher doesn’t rest on a wing and a prayer. Peace, ~v.