Thursday, March 8, 2012

What we're up against...

I don't know why I read articles like this, or like this, or like this.  I try to remain optimistic about teaching aspects, but realistically... its becoming more and more difficult to see a silver lining of the dark clouds.  Budget cuts, ALWAYS! I'm not against accountability, but is this fair?  Testing is EVERYTHING!  How are we to teach successfully?  Does that score mean everything?
  Even before I planned on being a teacher, I understood how important teachers are, and how important (and constitutionally right) public education is.  I fail to understand why this is happening all around. 
I know one does not become a teacher for the money.  I know one should not become a teacher for vacations.  Teachers main driving points are to make an influence and help students reach a potential that the students did not even know they possess.  It is because of that that I hold on hope.

1 comment:

  1. i might sound like polyanna for a minute, but all i can think is that if the pendulum swings so hard one way, it eventually has to swing back. i was in the k-12 environment during standardized testing and accountability, but i feel it's gotten much, much worse. and while i don't have to worry about it as an instructor, i certainly do feel for my students and my peers.

    i honestly don't know how much worse it can get. but, what i can tell you, is that i taught an elective and decided to keep track of my kids scores. i didn't have to teach as much writing, reading, etc as i did for a lot of my classes, but i wanted to inspire and watch them learn. in my informal study, i noticed that students scores rose. so did my principal.

    what did i do? i simply looked at the skills that these tests and embedded them in my work, authentically. for instance, inferring...big skill. so rather than tell then what that meant, i had them read the play "Sorry, Wrong Number" about a woman who hears about a plot to murder someone on a party line. It becomes evident that they are going to kill her. Half-way through the play one of my students looks up and says "this woman is so stupid!" I asked why, and the student told me that she was the one they were planning to kill. that was a great time to talk about inferring. then we discussed other times that happened.

    i'm not claiming to be the guru of beating standardized tests, but i believe that if you can authentically build into your curriculum what is being tested, the students will learn.

    this is an example of concept attainment where the student learns the concept before they know what it is called. i love this approach because the student learns authentically.

    anyway, i know how much you want to teach and influence, and i'm sure you will see the silver lining more than you know. hang in there...and do what you desire to do in the classroom. believe me, the passion of a teacher to teach gets one a lot further than fear or frustration.