“The test will come and the test will go. Let’s focus on students.”


Try to keep these points in mind:

testing tipsYou’re in charge of your performance

Don’t forget that of the many factors that affect success on standardized tests, the one you can control the most is your teaching performance — regardless of the attitude of your students, their support at home or the role of the school administration. Will good teaching be the sole decider in your students’ success? No, but it will play a major role.

Focus on what you can influence

When issues are swirling and people are choosing sides, the best thing to do is to focus on what you can control. For a teacher, that means honing the quality of your instruction in the classroom, understanding of the curriculum and designing lessons that help students the most.  Try not to spend time spinning in circles over something that’s either beyond your control or hasn’t yet been firmly established.

Set a constructive, professional tone

Regardless of your feelings on the quality or necessity of testing, remember to keep a professional tone when discussing the tests. Your primary responsibility is to ensure the learning of your students, so don’t get caught up criticizing a test that has yet to be administered. Be judicious in your comments about the testing. Never involve students into the middle of these debates.

Deconstruct the test

There is nothing wrong with spending time teaching your students the best way to take the test. Breaking the test down into smaller pieces, practicing the computer-based interface and highlighting the important parts of the test are all reasonable uses of your time. Focusing too greatly on the test, shutting down instruction in other areas due to the upcoming tests, or sending home worksheet after worksheet isn’t a good use of your time. It’s OK to analyze, just don’t obsess.

Recognize the benefits

One point that many supporters of standardized tests bring up during these discussions is that formal “sit-down” tests are a part of life — most professions require formal tests of some sort, and the testing will become more frequent as jobs become more highly skilled and demanding. Putting the standardized-testing discussion in that context supports the idea of taking the test.

While the test plays a larger role in both the child’s school evaluation and the teacher’s overall performance, it is not a major player in the overall school experience of the student.

“The test will come and the test will go. Let’s focus on students.”

 

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Thank you to teachers who submitted an essay for the Why I Teach Contest.

Why I Teach
by Jamie Watkins

  • I teach because I want to strengthen the minds of our youth.
  • I teach because I want to help shape the children for their future.
  • I teach because I love the children.
  • I teach because love to see the learning.
  • I teach because that is my purpose

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Why I teach
by Nathan McCleery

  • I teach because I love learning.
  • Learning is what gets me charged up and helping others learn is the next best thing.
  • I love the moment when something new blows my mind or shifts my consciousness.
  • I try to create those moments for my students and to celebrate the learning they are doing.
  • I would be thrilled to give them that same love of learning in their life.
Why I Teach
by Natalie Nielsen..

I teach because I love seeing the creativity within students.I love watching them take a prompt and give it life, whether in movement or on paper.

I love watching students take ownership of a project and seeing how proud they are when they get to share that project with others.

And, I love that teaching keeps me young, since my students 'have my back' when it comes to music and style-ha ha 🙂

 why I teach
https://www.festisite.com

http://www.wordclouds.com

Why I Teach
by Emma Cisneros

I am a teacher because I know I have a great impact on who my students become. I know that some of my students have rough home lives where they don't get the love and support they need. They are in desperate need of someone who will love them, care about them, listen to them, push them, and yes-- even discipline them.

There are some days where I might be the only person that holds that student accountable, that talks to them about their behavior, that challenges them to become better. I can be that person for them- through my example, and through the discussions I have with them. I can help them see how important it is to be kind, to have ambition, to persevere, to be honest, and to pick themselves up and try again.
Full text

Why I Teach
by Jacquelynn Fabiszak

Last week was a good week. It boosted my mentality about teaching as I was handed letter after letter. Letters that students had written just for me.

They expressed how much they loved my class and how much they loved me as a teacher."This is it," I thought, "this is what I do it for." To be loved and adored? No, but to create a place where learning can happen because a student feels welcomed, respected, special and loved.

I love these students, they love me back and in return we learn things together. They inspire me, make me chuckle, show me kindness and most importantly remind me why it's all worth it!   Full text

 

Why I teach

Why I Teach

Why I Teach
by Rebecca Stone

Friends are the spice in life. They are there for you when you need them, and they are there for you when you don’t even know you need them. This is why I started to teach.

My friend told me about an open position that I 100% qualified for. She knew my background with kids and coaching, and knew it was the right fit. She also knew it was the right time in my life for a change.

Why do I still teach, 18 months after starting this? The students! I’m so blessed to teach a subject the students WANT to learn.

My goals are to have fun with them every day, to add a bright spot in their otherwise “normal” day. We have the flexibility with our vast curriculum to do this; we get to play with goniometers, theraband, and wrap up fake injuries.  Full text

 

Why I Teach
by Kristy Hernandez

  • So, why do I teach?  That’s easy... I teach because someone once taught me.
  • I teach because I have been chosen as one of the lucky ones to make a difference in the lives of children.I teach to help, encourage, and inspire other teachers.
  • I teach because it is fun and it makes me happy!
  • I teach because the long hours and sleepless nights are worth it when one student draws me a picture, writes me a note, gives me a hug, or brings me a souvenir from their vacation.

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Why I teach

Why I Teach Why I Teach
by Jodi White

I teach for a variety of reasons,
Like watching the children learn through all the seasons!

I work with an amazing, caring, dedicated team,
Who never seem to run out of steam!

The hallways are filled with laughter and fun,
Especially when winter snow days are finally done!

The office staff fills many a role,
They always take time to mend any hole.

The parents and PTA give us a helping hand,
Without their support we couldn’t stand.

There are days when being a teacher can be hard,
But the benefits out weigh those days by far.

I teach because each day is different, challenging, and new,
I love watching the children love learning like I do!

Teaching children is a calling from above,
It has made my life meaningful- and filled with love!


 

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We all teach, lead and learn under different Mindframes. They envelop our personal lives as well as into our professional conversations. John Hattie and Peter Dewitt have written about the Mindframes our students need for learning. Those Mindframes are equally as important for teachers and school leaders as well.

Check out the video below to see more about these Mindframes.

Hattie's Mindframes (now there are 10)

  1. I am an evaluator
  2. I am a change agent
  3. I talk about learning and not about teaching
  4. I see assessment as feedback to me
  5. I engage in dialogue and not monologue
  6. I enjoy challenge
  7. I engage in positive relationships
  8. I use the language of learning
  9. I see learning as hard work
  10. I collaborate

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