Sunday, November 25, 2012

preaching to the choir

I stumbled upon The Minds of Kids blog somehow-- probably something WB posted along the way. This post makes tons of sense to me, and probably to you, as I think all my readers drink the same kool-aid as I do.

In all the professional development in which I take part, teachers consistently say that standardized testing holds us back. It's hard to encourage kids to explore ideas when you have to make sure you expose them to X material before the testing dates roll around. And between giving the universal screeners 3 times a year for math and reading and preparing for and giving the mandated state tests for math, reading, and science once a year, a significant amount of class time is lost to testing.

Teachers notice that students (in general) are not good at thinking for themselves. We know it's an issue... and yet the very tools we use to prove that point are the ones holding us back from making a change and improving the situation. To say my head spins regularly is an understatement.

I've said lately that I hope I'm still teaching when gay boys can have out relationships the way lesbian girls can now (and very much could not when I was a student myself). I also hope I am still teaching when we leave standardized testing behind and focus on learning and thinking instead.