About Me

I am a second-career teacher. In my other life, I crunched numbers as an accountant. Probably would have made a great math teacher had the thought occurred to me. No matter, I'm where I'm supposed to be; teaching third grade. Before that, 2nd grade and before that kindergarten. I have 2 grown daughters, 2 poodles, and 1 hubby. I live and work on Long Island.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'm Ugly, Ugly, Ugly!

Lately, in my classroom I feel like Marcia Brady. But it’s not braces making me ugly….it’s the NYS ELA and Math assessments that are looming over me like a ghost haunting my dreams or the braces that took over Marcia’s self esteem.

I know the state tests are way above grade level expectations. I know that I’ve done my best to prepare them. I know that they are working as hard as they can and they are only 8 freakin’ years old. I know that the tests are NOT a true reflection of what I’ve taught them. I know that I don’t believe in these tests as any worthwhile measure of anything they’ve learned.

But yet, I am frustrated beyond belief. I can’t believe they are not restating the question when they answer it. I can’t believe that they don’t GET IT. Don’t they realize what is at stake here?

Of course they don’t and why should they?
There is so much wrong with our system that it’s completely irrational that I feel this way, yet I DO.

I’ve mostly taught primary grades and this is only my second year in a “testing grade.” Teaching to the test is making me an ugly teacher.

I want to be a beautiful teacher in the faces of my students who are finally grasping math concepts. I want to be beautiful in the eyes that light up when they are acknowledged for thinking something smart. I want to be beautiful when they know that they are doing their very best and that their best is awesome.


But I’m not. I’m ugly, ugly, ugly.  

4 comments:

  1. It is so hard when we have to teach to the test! Thankfully I teach at international schools so I don't get as much pressure from admin as you do in the States. All you can do is hang in there and do your best... or start teaching internationally!

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/2015/03/26/tbt-vatican-city-2006-sol26/

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's probably how I will feel next year. In Connecitcut this is the first year that the SBAC is going to "count", so there isn't much pressure since this is our baseline year. But I have read a lot about the NY experience and I dread what will be coming, unless... Unless Congress passes a more humane and decent law. Who am I kidding???

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  3. Testing hangs over education over educators like some hideous dark cloud. It is the thing that is ugly. it represents a hideous form of unreliable assessment and we try to make kids fit the shape of those high stakes tests. Testing is an unfortunate reality in schools. A reality disproportionate to its worth. We do well to lessen its impact on students and by extension ourselves. If we stay true to effective teaching methodology, our students are well positioned to cope with the unwelcome intruder.The imposition of external testing shine a light on the vast difference between authentic assessment and the politically driven imperative of the high stakes testing industry. Keep smiling...Marcia Brady wasn't real either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Testing hangs over education over educators like some hideous dark cloud. It is the thing that is ugly. it represents a hideous form of unreliable assessment and we try to make kids fit the shape of those high stakes tests. Testing is an unfortunate reality in schools. A reality disproportionate to its worth. We do well to lessen its impact on students and by extension ourselves. If we stay true to effective teaching methodology, our students are well positioned to cope with the unwelcome intruder.The imposition of external testing shine a light on the vast difference between authentic assessment and the politically driven imperative of the high stakes testing industry. Keep smiling...Marcia Brady wasn't real either.

    ReplyDelete

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