Friday, June 01, 2012

Not Worth The Effort

I'm sitting on the airport floor (I-pad is charging), gazing out at the rain and thinking about Ms. Eyre's post, the one on the effort it takes to get students to show up, work and pass. I know that feeling as I put in over 30 years doing the exact same thing. I'm sitting on the other side of the fence now, teaching the students that somehow managed to pull through at the last minute. Seeing the results of this intense push from the college side makes me regret having done it.  Stats didn't matter way back then and we all thought we were doing what was best for the student and maybe because seeing kids pass boosted our self esteem. Teachers have to get them to pass now. The future be damned.

I can't even recall how many times my former AP threw statistics in our faces and berated teachers for being as little as 2  per cent below a colleague. I know Ms. Eyre and the teachers today have no choice. They have to get these kids to pass or they will be on an unemployment line. I feel sad reading her post, knowing how hard she is working and achieving a goal that is worthless and possibly harmful to the students she is doing her darnedest to help succeed.

Teachers like Ms. Eyre are forced to spend time pushing kids who don't deserve to credit get credit.  This time and effort could be put to a much better use.  Too bad   the system doesn't allow this to happen.


Anonymous said...

too bad the system is making students (in all grades) do work that they are just not developmentally ready for.
I tutor a child in kindergarten 4 times a day. In the beginning of the tutoring sessions, he used to cry and hide under the table because he was afraid of learning, teachers and school.
We finally managed to diminish his anxiety and frustration from the classroom where he feels confident about learning and what he CAN DO, which is great. But every now and then, this child has a meltdown from an experience which has been precipitated in school.

Kindergarten is supposed to be the time for children to learn through play with a happy and fun experience. It is not supposed to be a place where 'fun' and 'happy' have fallen off the cliff and where children are cry in frustration about feeling stupid. This is what RTTT and NCLB is doing to students self esteem and confidence.

Anonymous said...

Magnolia is so right. Centers were taken down and 1st-grade material is being offered instead. These kids have no time to learn socialization skills. And soon the mayor is going to create tests just for them.

Anonymous said...

Parents must start jumping on the bandwagon to have their parents opt out of the test. It is the only way to stop the testing insanity. Change the stakes and the testing boycott is picking up but more parents need to jump on the bandwagon in order to take serious action. This movement needs to be MASSIVE!