Thursday, March 7, 2013

solsc: testing 201 7/31

March Slice of Life Story Challenge 
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!

Testing 101:  The Student's Role  [Previous slice.]

Testing 201: The Teacher's Role

Standing scanning the room for potential confusions or questions
Pacing in between rows of desks without trying to knock over papers
Observing how students work independently in a world where we teach them to converse and collaborate
Smiling for reassurance letting students know "You can do it!"
Providing me time to think, ponder, question, wonder, accept, and want to change.

We all want what is best for our students -- that is why we are here every day.
Each and every day.  Healthy or not.  Rain or shine.  Happy or not.

I want to make a difference. I want to BE the difference. I want to show my students -- my kids that I care. I want them to know I am here for them.  Always.

I look at the faces -- children's faces -- who come to school every day
knowing we are going to provide them stability and structure and the known.
They come with baggage that they are forced to carry.  A burden not their own.

Yet, they come ready to learn.  Or ready to talk.  Or ready to show us that they need us.  They come ready, we just have to figure out what they are ready for.

I understand testing.  We need to know what students can do independently.
One test?  One day?  One snapshot in the year?  But isn't there a better way?
Conferring, talking, observing, noticing, prompting, encouraging, guiding.

We all work better as a team with one goal. How can we do this assessment better?


  1. Great questions here - ones I asked myself as I walked between those desks yesterday.

  2. I love this blog---beyong the questions you ponder for testing The way you explain your purpose as a teacher is fulfilling. You have a true understanding of your students. It is important to keep this sort of empathy even in the trying times. Beautiful. You capture my feelings as well. I shall keep and re-read your post many times. Thank you

  3. Ugh...your post gave me agita: I'm thinking ahead to doing exactly what you were doing come May. And, at that time, I will think of the lines of yours:
    "I want to make a difference. I want to BE the difference. I want to show my students -- my kids that I care. I want them to know I am here for them. Always."

  4. The testing will be over soon. You will stay with the kids, making a difference in their lives.

  5. M, you always look for the silver lining and work your hardest in every role that you are in. I admire your thoughtfulness. xo

  6. You are a great teacher, mentor, friend and caring person. You do make a difference every day. As for the test taking and stress, that unfortunately will not cease to happen. The only thing you can do is be there for the children and do your best. Love ya M

  7. This is so true, "we just have to figure out what they are ready for" and it usually isn't what's written on our curriculum guides. Great thoughts, I just wish some congress people would get it.

  8. It's a BIG job and you are right the students come from all different backgrounds, situations, and needs. Our BIG shoulders need . . . have to be there for them . . . and you my friend fit the bill perfectly!

  9. We start testing on Tuesday. Our teachers are in the midst of taking everything off the walls so that the kids can't possibly have any help. Today I had to go print out a math formula so I could help an eighth grader calculate the volume of a cylinder. Tuesday, this same kid will have to have this formula, and a million others, in his head. Like you, I keep wondering, can we not figure out a better way to do this.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.