Monday, April 26, 2010

In My Spare Time I Teach

Wow! We all know that I was joking when I said I wished that there were enough events left in the year so I didn’t have to teach another day, right? With another week of mandatory state testing going on this week and even more scheduled before graduation, I decided to go back and add some things up. After looking back on the school calendar I determined that we have taught only twenty-nine of the last sixty-one days. Much of that has to do with nearly three weeks of testing and re-testing we’ve had.

That seems a bit light, doesn’t it? I mean public schools these days live and die by statistics and numbers. I can certainly attest to the live and die part. I can’t tell you how many e-mails we get from Pécan about how important students’ performances on these tests that are just short of threatening our mortality. Telling us if scores did not reflect expectations then drastic measures to correct the situation would be examined was certainly, um, eye opening.

So with that much emphasis on the numbers some worry should be placed on the fact that an institution of education is only teaching one out of the two months during the school year. I know it concerns me, especially since this is my career and would like for it to be a little bit more productive.

Sure, tests are important measuring tool. I just wish so much focus was not put on whether or not we get an “Exceptional 2010” put on the side of the school building. If you concentrate on filling your building with exceptional students, then you don’t need any signage.

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