Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Assessing and Assessing and more Assessing


I don't think I have given more assessments in the first four weeks of teaching in my whole career! I barely have had a chance to get to know these cuties. But instead of teaching reading, I feel like I have been managing children with books for the last four weeks. I squeeze a reading lesson in, the children sit and "read" and I try to get as many running records in as I can in the time they are engaged. Too much time is being spent assessing and not enough time has been spent modeling for students, providing time for practice, developing thinking as they are reflecting on their learning. And I am a fortunate person who has a class full of well-behaved children. (I can't tell if they are really reading, or just being very polite.)

I'm not even a first year teacher. Managing all of these assessments along with fulfilling leadership roles within the district gives me barely enough time to think about what I am really teaching and learning with my students on a daily basis. Something's gotta give.

So, I'm somewhat hopeful that the next few weeks are going to be more realistic. I think my next post is going to be about the successes of the first few weeks now that I have gotten the load off my back.

There's always something cleansing about venting. Now, I think I have moved from feeling like someone with whiplash to someone in recovery.


Heather said...

Oh man--I can totally relate. Our district has completely changed our assessment plan K-2 and we have spent the last month helping classroom teachers get all of them done. In 1st grade, there were 9. I totally don't get it. I don't know what your district's curriculum is, but ours has historically been very, very balanced literacy. Running records, Hearing and Reacording Sounds and Words, etc. The devil aka DIBELS has somehow found its way in, and I'm just sad about it all. Anyways, sorry to vent in your comments section! I'm glad it's all done for you and I hope that you can get down to the important business of teaching and learning now.

Mike said...

Great vent Sarah! I teach on the other end of the spectrum, but I can empathize with you. Gone are the days when a student became an educated person just from being with a master. What would Plato and Aristotle think of what we've made of education? Eventually, I fear, we will spend all the time we formerly taught students, engaging them in assessments to see what they know. I enjoy your blog.

Mike Teacher Food