If you have ever read "Hooray for Diffendoofer Day" by Dr. Seuss, you know exactly what my title means. Here's a brief recap of the book...
Diffendoofer School teaches what it wants. The teachers teach frogs to dance and pigs to put on underpants! However, they soon learn that all students have to take a standardized test to prove the worth of the school or it will be shut down. The teachers, who obviously take such a different approach to learning, get nervous. Will their students do well? Will they "make the grade"? Miss Bonkers, the main teacher in the story isn't worried. She says, "We've taught you that the earth is round, That red and white make pink, And something else that matters more- We've taught you how to think."
In this testing era, I feel sometimes that we test kids to death. There are times of the year where we literally spend more time on testing than teaching. Standardized testing for my 2nd grade babies starts tomorrow. And I start questioning myself....have I done all I can do to prepare them? Are they really ready for this? And - most importantly - have I taught them the things that matter? Have I taught them how to think?
I pray that I have. I pray that my students do well. It's easy to let an end of the year assessment overshadow the day to day learning that I have helped facilitate all year.