It feels amazing to have the mental restraint to organize and get my thoughts, somewhat, into a readable blog entry. It’s been a while, but I’m so excited to be back!
Today before classes begin, the teaching staff has a meeting to discuss the procedures and logistics for implementing the FCAT, Florida’s standardized test that assess students’ reading, writing, and mathematical aptitudes. I’m going to avoid getting into the politics of standardized testing, but here are my general thoughts summed up:
Ok, so enough of that side of the issue. Oh wait, one more!
Ok. I’m done now.
In each of the 8 years that I have been teaching, I have always had at least one group of students that were tested via the state’s standardized testing, but not this year. I have 11th graders who have been preparing for the periodical SAT test, but I am not going to include this in today’s posting qualifier. This is the first year in which I did not have to spend a designated amount of my class time to directly preparing students to take a test in the spring.
10 Advantages of Not “Teaching to the Test”
- Not having to format my question stems to parallel those on The Test.
- Having the time to squeeze in an extra text – this year it was Slaughterhouse Five
- Getting back the day I lost in having students take a tutorial for how to use the reading tools provided on the computer during the Reading Assessment
- Hearing the 11th graders talk about how ridiculously easy the state test is versus the AP test – this isn’t an advantage, but more of a validation
- Not having to give and grade those bland writing prompts
- Restricting creative writing and demanding the standard five-paragraph essay format
- Sitting through two hours of pre test training
- Abdicating my role of monitoring testing students for two days – and nothin’ else!
- Selfishly knowing that I won’t be judged based on the test results <–honesty post, not a proud post
- A true sense of freedom
Oh! One more diatribe: