Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bad News or Good News First?


I'm in the thick of state testing with the kiddos. I must say I understand the whole concept of state testing. Yes, teachers, principals, and schools have to be held accountable. However, state tests shouldn't be the end-all-be-all. It doesn't measure someone's drive, determination, or potential. I was never a good tester, but you would not be able to tell that with my grades throughout my academic career. With that said, here's what happened to me today. We'll start with the bad news.

A kiddo looks up at me completely doe-eyed. She points to the first math problem, "I can't do that. I don't know how to do that. Can you help me?" My heart just breaks. I tell her, "Sweetie bug, just do your best. I can't help you. Your best is enough." She says again, "I really don't know how to do it." I try some more encouraging words, but I have to walk away. When your job is to help children day in and day out, it's so hard to turn your back on them, especially when they're reaching out to you. My heart sank to the soles of my shoes.

Now, the good news. The same kiddo figures out that she can use her ruler as a number line. She has something to help her figure out some of the problems. Yay! How clever is that? That kind of creative problem solving is not tested by the state. It's the kind of thinking that she'll need for the rest of her life. Go kiddo!

No comments: