As many of us are painfully aware, Governor Andrew Cuomo has initiated a vendetta against New York’s public education system and us teachers. Facing threats of termination should we fall below his ludicrous system of linking 50% of our students’ test scores to our evaluations, many of us are attending rallies, participating in Opt-Out movements and letter writing campaigns to effect change.
In the meantime, I have invited the governor into my classroom to witness the everyday teaching and learning that can’t be measured by a test score. He has not responded to my invitation. In fact, I understand he has not visited any public school classroom in our state EVER.
I say this to the governor…..MEASURE THIS:
ð Hours spent talking to parents about the emotional health of their children and how it affects their learning
ð Conferences with parents in preparation of report grades that fall below grade level expectations according to the CCSS
ð Mornings before school devoted to helping students write their “books” since the school day’s ELA block is devoted singularly to test prep
ð Money spent on supplies, snacks, water, and clothing for students who are not able to bring them from home
ð Creation of blogs as a place for my students to share their passion for reading and responding to quality literature of their choosing
ð Mentoring the 6 students in my class who suffer from a little too much excitability and creating plans to improve their focus and reduce their distractibility (without medication or intervention of any building level support staff)
ð Encouraging the gender-questioning student that to be himself is ok and creating a safe environment for him to do so
ð Conferring with the girls during lunchtime about the importance of including all classmates in recess activities and making follow up calls to each of their parents
ð Providing lessons that differentiate for all types of learners using different modalities that the Pearson math program and the Expeditionary ELA modules are simply lacking
ð Instilling love for learning, developing my students’ natural curiosity, helping them feel successful and capable in even the smallest way
Measureable, Governor Cuomo? Perhaps not on the state exams but certainly on the faces of my students who enter our classrooms each and every morning with a smile on their face, a hug for their teacher and prepared to do their very best every day to meet the ridiculously unobtainable goals you are setting for them.