Archive for teaching


Posted in my life with tags , , , on April 14, 2010 by tamishields

As a teacher I know that testing is how we can compare our students with the rest of the nation and in some cases world. I know it proves they’ve learned something…hopefully. However, anyone with a heart, would find it unbearable to be in a room with children, and watch them sit still, silent, and read and answer questions for several hours. Mind you they aren’t reading about anything they are really interested in, they are reading mostly about things they have never experienced. So, as a teacher of 20 students who were tortured today, I ask you…what good did it do?

Today I can make a guess about who passed the test. In a few weeks I will know. Yesterday, I could have made a guess and it would be the same guess I have today. And in a few weeks, if I know my kids like I think I do, it will be the same kids on the “official” list as the ones on the list in my mind right now. So what good did it do?

If I can tell you who is struggling, AND I can tell you what I’m doing to help them, AND I can tell you whether I think they will be successful at the next grade, what good did it do?

For me, it is the proof of what I have been telling the mammas and the daddies all year. Proof to others that these students are struggling as much as I have said they are. Proof that they need more help than I was able to give them this year to catch up. Proof that somewhere these students have been failed. So the good that it did is to remind me.

None of us is perfect. Some of you are good testers, I am not and never have been. Some of you are good at sports, I am not and never have been. Some of you are good readers, I am not and never have been. We are all unique and for the most part we have miraculously become productive citizens. And most of us have no idea what our scores were on those state mandated test. (My guess is, if you remember it’s because you scored really high…nerd!)

So, to my poor 3rd graders I say, “I am sorry. I hope when you think of 3rd grade, you remember me smiling and laughing. Us complementing each other in the security of our class meeting and going to the field outside the trailer to do multiplication relay races. I hope you remember the fun times and that today will never cross your minds again!

What do you remember about 3rd grade? I need some ideas to wipe testing out of their minds so they remember something awesome!