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.