Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Today and tomorrow my students and I are off of school for Mid-Winter Break. We have it each year to celebrate Lincoln's Birthday/President's Day. Do I want the time off? Yes and no. Don't get me wrong, I love the days off to recharge my batteries. I need a break just as much as the students (although my students were actually upset to be off from school so much - I even get the question as to why they need the weekends off too!). I do not want the time off because of the stress over testing. Our ISAT tests are the first week in March. I do not feel my students are ready. I feel like I was able to teach them a more valuable curriculum this year including writing, grammar, science, and social studies along with reading or math. They are definitely better rounded in their education. Will this translate in testing? Who knows. This high stakes testing makes us lose focus on what is important in education. Are the students really gaining all the knowledge they need if the focus is only on reading and math? No! The problem is what will be tested. If it is not tested, at least in my district, it is not something that there is time to teach. I don't know if Common Core will help this problem or make it worse. At least I know that I will spend the next couple of days stressing about everything I need to make sure I cover in the next couple of weeks!