Monday, March 23, 2009

Testing Beyond the Bubble: I'm All Ears!

This President Obama is bringing change after all. He's got his staff of new idea people thinking about this whole mess of testing we've got out there.They're starting to chat-it-up. And you know what, Spot? I'm all ears too! It's about darned time.

Finally a column in the New York Times about testing that you and I can sink our teeth into. Well, I know Spot, the tests are done...but they will be back next year, and you know that! I just want to dispel
two thoughts on this test thing. First and is not the teachers making up these tests, Spot. You and your parents have no idea about the invisible test-makers, so you blame us for all this testing. I happen to know that most are either retired administrators, or reading consultant types, and although they have spent time in the classroom, they do not have that constant stream of kids and their thinking worming through their brains that the rest of us have. Second, those of us that are any good or even pretty good at what we do, do NOT teach to the test. We simply go on teaching the good principles of building background knowledge on a subject in order to go forward and read it. I do teach you guys tricks of the trade for approaching a passage you have no knowledge about, but that's just a practice of good teaching. If you never got that, you'd only read about dog bones, how to chase a cat, and stuff like that. It is my job to broaden your horizons, silly.

So, hooray! Finally, we may be able to survey kids on how they approach the printed page, what they bring to it, and what they hold onto after their done. Hallelujah! Why didn't they just ask us teachers to begin with? When will they think about that? We do know a thing or two about how puppies like you learn, Spot. We spend 183+ days each year worming around inside that brain of yours trying to make sense of it all. 

Oh...and Spot? About yesterday...I'm glad you had the day off. Stay away from that entry. That's more than you need to know.

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