Monday, March 2, 2015

Why I Can't "Teach to the Test"


I know it would make life much easier if I did.
Pull out the worksheets of all flavors;Reading, Writing, Math, mix in a Performance task.
Place them on their desks, one subject after another, hoping that when the BIG test comes, they can pass it, because they have been drilled, and drilled, and drilled.
Put them in labeled groups, those who will fly through the test, those who might pass, and those who don't stand a chance.
"Teach" them based on where they fit in the "testing" spectrum.
No arts.
No Recess.
No engagement.
No fun.
Just test drills.
But, I can't.
Every day with my kids reestablishes my firm belief that this is not what school is.This is not what learning looks like. It is not what teaching sounds like.
School should not be a place where there are no arts.
A place where music, art, etc,,, have no voice, no home.
Scripted curriculum should be banned.
How do you tell different children, all over the country, the same thing, in the same way, with the same words?
Pacing guides should be dumped, giving reteaching a chance.
Giving that struggling child a chance to grasp, and hold on to, a concept.
Because if I did, I would miss the joy and excitement on the face of my students as they heard the students from New Zealand speak for the first time during a Mystery Skype.
I would miss hearing the gasps as they scanned a QR code for the first time.
I would miss...
Watching them work intently on their Passion Project, begging for more time,
Coding, seriously thinking of possibly,just possibly, becoming a computer programmer.
Dancing to Pop See Ko during our Brain Breaks. (You know you can't take Brain Breaks when you are drilling.)
Pulling out their books, eager for me to read out loud, disappointed when I stop.
Competing against their peers in a game of Kahoot,determined to be the winner!
Writing "I Am "Natural Disaster" poems and not being afraid to share them with the world.
If I "taught to the test", I would miss so much of what learning looks like.
And most of all, I would miss being a teacher.


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