Just let me teach…a little vent.

Most of my posts are about the things that I am doing in my classroom.  I post about products I make and products I use.  I post about ideas that I want to share with other teachers.
I LOVE being a teacher.  I LOVE working with kiddos everyday.  
That being said, I am greatly disturbed by the things that I see happening to public education today.  I am lucky enough to teach in a grade that doesn’t have to do much “standardized” testing.  The testing that I do is mainly for me.  As testing should be.  Assessments are supposed to be for guiding instruction, not for penalizing teachers, schools, and students.  I am greatly disturbed not only for my students, but for my children as well.  My son took 17 standardized tests in third grade.  He took tests to see how he was going to do on the test.  He took state mandated tests, he took corporation mandated tests, do these tests do anything to improve his learning or his school experience?  He started to dislike school in third grade.  He sees no value in the tests.  Mainly he does well, when he bothers to try.   Do I want his teachers to be evaluated on what score my son gets on a standardized test?  NO!  Do I believe that this is an accurate measure of what his teachers are doing in class everyday?  Heck no!
His teachers have been wonderful caring people who work with my kids and others everyday (whether the kiddos want to learn or not).  They see my children as much more than a test score.  All of this testing is INSANE!  I have seen children in my building cry, throw up, and try to miss school because of these tests.  I honestly think that this is child abuse.  Why are we doing this?  Do these tests really measure what children are learning?  I know that there are schools that no longer teach anything but reading and math because that I what is on the tests.  Is this really what we want for our children?  Good test scores?  I would rather my children love learning, enjoy going to school and know how to find out the information that they need to know.  
As a teacher I see so much time being eaten up by “test prep” by computerized tests to see if kiddos will pass a test, with unnecessary paperwork and data collection and rigamarole that is taking teachers away from doing their jobs of actually teaching.   It is disheartening and scary.  I could go on forever about this particular subject.  All I really want to say is : Just let me teach!

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