>Honest Assessment

> I need to be honest with myself. My summary says that I’m “currently a third grade teacher and enjoy every moment of it.” After seven years of teaching, I’ve come to a point where I question myself daily on whether or not teaching is for me. Truth is, I’m starting not to enjoy it… I’m angry…my attitude sucks….and I feel like crap at the end of the day because I wish I could’ve done more.

Part of it really has to do with that stupid state assessment that our third graders are given every year. Teachers are told to use different types of assessment tools, and use different strategies that address the learning needs of every student, yet the same type of format is used to assess student learning, year after year.

Multiple choice…short response…extended response.
Bubble in the correct answer, choose one statement, be sure to write your answer within the space provided.
You need to know this for the test….

We’re told to give students extra time on assignments and to accept late work to ensure that students have achieved or demonstrated mastery on a standard. We use art pieces as assessment tools for science and social studies. We teach critical thinking skills, writing skills, problem solving…but all of it has to be done in a way that ensures success on a freakin’ standardized test.

On top of that, the test a “one-shot” deal. Student comes to school in the morning with a bad start on a test day….too bad! You can’t go back to yesterday’s work and make corrections.

Everyone has a different way of learning. We can learn the same material in different ways, so why are we expecting our kids to be the same kind of test takers? It doesn’t make sense.

It also doesn’t make sense to cram 29 eight year-olds, from all different backgrounds, languages, and learning styles in one classroom, with only one teacher in the room. I find it impossible to make sure that all 29 students are cared for and be given the proper attention throughout the day. I feel like I can’t do my job right. Cuts to funding in music, art, and p.e., increased time dedicated to reading and math, pressure to meet Annual Yearly Progress. It gets progressively worse as the years go by.

I’d really like to concentrate on being a super teacher for the remainder of this school year. I can’t however, guarantee that I’ll be back in the classroom next fal


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