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Classroom Interrupted

There has been a lot of discussion about standardized testing in Saskatchewan since the government announced their new testing plan. As an educator I am greatly concerned about the direction this forces education down.  

Firstly, as a teacher I work hard to create relationships with my students, getting to know them and their skills.  We build a rhythm to our days and a way of being together.  Then enters “the test”.  This interrupts our learning time, disrupts the assessment i’ve been doing, and stresses the students.  I do my best as an educator to lessen this impact on the students and help students do their best on these type of tests.  

Secondly, these tests are assessed by a teacher during the summer, one who does not know the students.  How fair is this assessment to the students when they are assessed by someone who does not know them.  It is at best just a snapshot of a period in time, a day when perhaps they were sick, struggling or skipped breakfast.  In contrast as a classroom teacher I am constantly assessing and relating to my students giving them every chance to show their skills and seeing a pattern of growth over an extended period of time.  My relationship with these students allows me to know when they are having an off day and also to support them when they struggle with a task. 

There are lots of arguments against standardize testing and I join this discussion respectfully questioning how this can be in the best interests of the students.  As a teacher I feel I have a right to express my feelings on this issue. I am concerned that teacher’s voices are being disregarded in this decision, that our knowledge and professional opinions are not considered enough.  

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