& no, I don’t mean Girl Scout cookie time. Although, I have been hearing something about those.
If you live in Florida, you know what I’m talking about, and if ya don’t live in FL but are a teacher you might have an idea. The FCAT is our state assessment for kids in various grade levels. My grade, fourth, being one of them. (This will all be changing in a few years when I new tests rolls in, PARCC, and all grade levels will then test yearly)
In fourth grade, writing is the BIG test with reading & math being tested as well. The writing test is in less than three weeks now & with me being the writing teacher for two of our fourth grade classes I’m starting to feel the crunch and I’m starting to get just a wee bit burnt out on writing.
After this test at the end of February, we’ll be switching gears and begin gearing up for the reading & math portions. Because of all of these big tests, our kids are being “pre-tested” like crazy. Little assessments here & there that our district/school requires to really assess where the kids are at & get those kids that are just not where they need to be to where they need to be (if that makes any sense at all).
My mom & I were discussing it all today & we really can’t figure out when education took this turn. When it all became about the tests & the scores & making the grade. When data drove teaching, rather than the kids themselves. I know this probably sounds similar to teaching rants I’ve done in the past, but sometimes its just a little frustrating. There are weeks when I don’t even remember getting to teach an actual lesson without being interrupted, having to collect data, rearrange our schedule, or having to assess something. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for the kids.
So, that’s my soapbox for tonight. Complaining & stress & politicians, oh my!