Teaching Used to be Fun

A dedicated, veteran teacher said this to me as we were working in the staff lounge.  With more federalized programs like Common Core and No Child Left Behind, there is little room for creativity as teachers are to teach to the text and be pretty much on the same page at the same time as their coworkers.  Test scores are the focus.  Many teachers teach to the test that is given at the end of the year.  In addition to year-end testing, there are constant assessments.  I often felt sad for my students with the over testing.  This was a waste of time for everyone.  An initial assessment is a necessary tool to evaluate student progress, however, assessment tests are given throughout the year for grade level mastery.  These assessments are given in addition to weekly spelling/grammar tests, math tests, and chapter tests.  The state has forgotten that the students are being assessed every day by their teachers through observations and grades.  Parents who care monitor their child’s progress as well.  Nightmares about students hating school used to creep into my dreams at times.  Teachers have tremendous pressure to produce high-test scores.  The many assessments given takes away from instructional minutes.  Schools today are filled with stressed out teachers who don’t believe that teaching is much fun anymore.

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