Daily Archives: February 4, 2014

Testing, Testing

This teacher gets it! And I can guarantee more teachers and parents feel this way. I can’t wait for the day that politicians realize how very wrong standardized testing is.

A Writer's Life

Let me make one thing clear: I’m not against a nation-wide test or a state-wide test or even a district test.

Data is not a bad thing. Discovering that 30 percent of the kids in your class don’t understand fact vs. opinion but across the hall a friend’s class has a hundred percent mastery of the concept….yeah, that’s valuable. And sharing those results with each other is invaluable. And asking why and finding answers to that question…invaluable.
The problem is the answer isn’t always simple.
Unlike factory production where there’s a constant inhuman product, teachers are working with people. People with emotions and hormones and issues. People who are constantly changing. That change is what we champion in education. It’s what we celebrate. It’s essential.
But when testing becomes the entire basis for education, when teachers are evaluated on effectiveness based on the test, when testing companies help define education…

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What it means to be a teacher

I’ve mentioned a couple times now that most people don’t really understand what it means to be a teacher. They think our day gets done by 4 and we get paid vacations. According to most people, we don’t earn what pay we get, and should not be paid for our summers (which we actually aren’t, but I’ll explain in more detail later).

  •  Schools out teacherA friend recently told me how much I “suck” because my day “ends before 4”. Sure. The paid portion of my day ends before 4 pm. 3:35, to be exact. But that doesn’t include the weekends I spend decorating my room so that my students feel safe, welcomed, and encouraged in my classroom. Or the hours spent grading papers in IHOP (well, a coffee shop of some sort where they stay open late and won’t kick me out while I work) into the wee hours of the morning. I’ve seen the sun rise from inside an IHOP more times than most of the clubhoppers I know. Or the hours spent scouring the internet for a relevant and interesting expository article that I can use in my lesson plans… I could continue, but then this post would never finish! Continue reading What it means to be a teacher