Testing is taking over my life and my students are suffering. I have taught elementary and middle in the past 12 years. Some testing was doable – a few a year. Then came PARCC tests, and practice sessions, and sample questions online and SRIs and SMIs assessments. Mix that with even more required state and county assessments and that equals frustration and overall lack of enthusiasm. Effort is dwindling even in my brightest, most motivated kids. In just over a month, my kids have had to complete four county assessments. Oh- that four does not include other classes… I feel so bad for them. I am so tense lately I’ve given myself tension headaches. There is just too much data to be able to sort through, analyze, and use in time to guide instruction and too little time to do it.
Anyway, my point is that I miss the creative art of teaching. I want to pre-assess, teach to the needs of each individual (notice I didn’t call them statistics and data points), and then assess each skill. Is that too much to ask from a professional with a masters degree and a passion for what I do? According to our school system lately… It is. We need to put the passion back into education! This should be exciting and fun! Kids should want to come to school every day to learn- not test.
Teacher February 24, 2016