Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Teacher Thoughts: The Woes of State Testing

Day 1 of State Testing is in the books.  In Pennsylvania, my students take the PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment).  While there are some important factors involving our school's scores, this post is not about the evil woes regarding job status or school funding.

This is about boredom.

I.  Am.  So.  Bored.

As I type this, we have only completed our first day (see beginning of post).  My students are having some extra recess (indoors because it's rainy and miserable here today).

My lesson plans for the next three weeks are finished.  I really and truly don't have anything pressing that needs to be done.

Which makes me think that I must be forgetting something.

During the testing we are not allowed to be on the computer or doing anything constructive because we are to be "actively monitoring" the students.  Also known as "stare at them and watch them take a test."

I don't put pressure on my kids.  All I ask is that they do their best.  I'm not going to give 11- and 12-year-olds an ulcer because I want them to score well to help me.  It's not worth it.  Having them develop anxiety over test taking is not one of my objectives as a teacher.

We tested for most of the morning.

Then we watched about half of a movie before lunch (they requested The Princess Bride).  Then I have mostly been letting them have recess since.  Hopefully, we can get outside at some point this week.

I read a book while they were at music class.

I.  Am.  So.  Bored.

What's state testing week like in your state?


Kristin said...

I could write a book on this.
We test on computers, so we have regular curriculum except for during testing times. There's no homework during this time though so accountability goes down but so does the amount of paperwork I have to mess with.
We test for about 2 hours a day for 10 days in a row. Today is day 5...

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