Ben Franklin once said’ “Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn.
What does this particular quote mean to you? How many times each day do we TELL our students? What are you teaching your students that you want them to remember? What kinds of opportunities are you providing for your students to be involved?
Think about one way you can INVOLVE your students this week? What is one thing you can enhance in your planning?
As teachers, we all realize the importance of assessment. Effective teachers need to check for understanding on a consistent basis. Many of us would agree that giving a test is well intended and serves a purpose.
Unfortunately, this concept has gone too far. The idea of holding both students and teachers accountable for content mastery in a reasonable manner has turned into a landslide of “required” assessments that not only hurt children but take away a meaningful and purposeful education.
As such, we find ourselves trying to maintain a balance between meaningful assessments and a mere requirement. In many ways, we ask ourselves what is the real purpose behind this?
We should always remember that even though test scores are important and provide valuable information, it is the students that count.
Through the years, I have come to realize a few things about assessments:
- Help students understand that good scores can allow for more opportunities, particularly after high school and/or college
- Allow time during the year for short, yet consistent, practice opportunities thus alleviating much stress and anxiety during the assessment
- Correct practice test with your students, not forgetting to call on students to justify their responses
Think about what you can do to help your students perform their very best on these sometimes, very demanding assessments
We should always remember that ALL of our students, no matter what their capabilities, deserve the best. All students are capable of learning. Effective educators never give up on individual students. However, we should think about how we balance our efforts to help children succeed.
This task of wanting all of our students to succeed can become stressful at times. Hence, lies the reality that we are not able to solve every problem. We must not forget that. What does matter is that we are getting our kids to progress in some way, shape, or form. Think about the student who had a 40% average coming in at the start of a new year. At year-end, this same student has a 50% average? Growth?? Absolutely. It’s these small milestones sometimes that we should focus on and celebrate along the way.
Think about some ways you manage stress when it begins to become a burden for your day to teaching. What do you do to take care of yourself? When you feel overworked trying to be the superhero, what can you do? How do you turn that “stress” off? Have you ever thought about laughing with your students?