Thursday, March 7, 2019


I'm feeling like a total failure tonight.

I should not be a teacher.

I do not know what I'm doing.

It all has to do with tests.

Our kids have to take a test about a month before our state's blessed event.

It's supposed to be a predictor of what students will do on the state test.

My students took it yesterday.

And they did horribly.

Really badly.

One of my students read the Life of Pi earlier this year.

He wasn't proficient.

Another one of my students reads three books a week.

She wasn't proficient.

Nor was my Harry Potter lover.

Or three of the five kids who get pulled out for GT every week.

And now I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong.

I believe in Reading and Writing Workshop.

I believe kids should have time and choice and rich conversations.

And yet I really don't know what to do with the information I got today.

And I'm feeling like a total failure.

And more than a little panicky about next month.


Unknown said...

That damn test! I look forward to spring but it's also a sign that the "test" is coming. I would trust in your formative assessments than focus on this one summative. Besides, who did the research to provide solid evidence that this one summative assessment is an indicator of the results on the "big one"? I love the parallels in your narrative!

Jean said...

You are growing readers in your room. That is what matters!

Elisabeth Ellington said...

So what is it that these tests are actually measuring about proficiency? I find this so frustrating. My son does online school and his English class is mostly standardized test prep like activities with standardized test like unit tests. I read them aloud to him and I can almost never get an A myself. If I, with a PhD in British Literature, cannot make an A on a 9th or 10 grade English test, I think there is something seriously wrong with the test. It's so demoralizing for us as teachers and for our students to have so many instruments used to measure what isn't clear and probably isn't worth measuring in the first place!

Unknown said...

Being a behavior teacher, my students often just click through these tests. I shudder to think of how their lack of interest is translated into teacher ratings. UGH. There has to be a better way...