A Few Suggestions

I understand there are things in life we have to do as teachers…write lesson plans, grade papers, fill out report cards…and give ISATs.  There is no point in arguing a case for or against them, but I just wish the people who write them could come see what I see during one of their tests.

The red faces, bowed heads and clenched fists when no matter how many times they read that problem, nothing about it is making sense.

The heartbroken looks on their faces when they ask a question, and the response sounds similar to this, “I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to help you.”

The relieved smiles when they hand over that test for the last time, not because they are so happy they took it, but because they are so glad to get rid of it.

I think the writers of the ISAT tests should have added a few things to make grading the test a little more authentic for them.

Color change paper: So when it gets wet, there are huge red spots with the children’s tears imprinted on the page.

A heart rate monitor: So they can see the elevated heart rate when the teacher utters those dreaded words…”15 minutes left.”

An effort meter: So despite the answers that are written down, they can see all the hard work that every child poured into the test.



3 thoughts on “A Few Suggestions

  1. Well said. I wish we could go back…way back to the way like when I was in school where the week we had tests was not even announced…and no big deal was made of it. In fact we all looked forward to having time from the daily grind….and we only had that every other year. Testing is a business now…and the companies are making money off our poor children…and teachers. I wish I had an answer for you…I just hope the pendulum soon swings the other way to common sense. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  2. Jessica – all of the tension of ISAT week, all the anxiety teachers feel… doesn’t even matter anymore once you read this point of view. Thanks for opening my eyes and helping me to look around at my students anxiety and tension. Today I will do more to help ease their worries. Great piece

  3. Agreed! I love the idea of the effort meter. The kids at our school were so intimidated by the extended response. One kept asking if she was doing it right. Ugh.

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