I believe that a teacher has so many roles in the classroom. You are their teacher, friend,protector, disciplinarian, and leader all in the few hours they are in your classroom. Rolesswitch depending on circumstances. As a teacher we assess in so many different ways: formaland informal. Thoughts are always running through our heads about what is the best way to doour jobs, make a human connection, and a difference in the lives of the children we serve andteach. Then we have the pencil and paper tests which are the evidence of our teaching.
I have found that as a teacher, I must “adopt” some of the views of my distri
ct and putthem into place. Mostly we have to assess the way that the schools want us to and also the waythat the New York Standards tell us to. That is the pressure we face. My philosophy is that theNew State Standard and State Tests do not allow for children that have different learningneeds. The children in special education still have to take the state exams when they are so outof reach of their capabilities. My philosophy of teaching is not to frustrate, but teach to allowfor a curiosity toward life that gives a child the joy of learning and experiencing new things.Who likes to do things that are overwhelming for them? This is like the Scarecrow trying togather all the information and think of ways to problem solve and reflect on what is best for mystudents.It is not fair morally to make children learn at levels they can not handle. This is much like theTin man and the feelings of moral, ethical, and social responsibility, to value each student andtry to find an understanding for them. I also set a time aside to talk about how the students feelabout learning. When do teachers ask the students how they feel about their work? They justwant them to be quiet and do it. I found that a lot of students are very embarrassed reading infront of other people and also nervous about making mistakes. I told them that I felt the sameway when I was younger. I would not put them in that position until they feel comfortable.They have a responsibility to be brave, much like the Lion, and do their best. They need toalso learn that other children are in class as well because they have to improve their readingand learning skills. They know that I do not allow anyone to make fun of another person orcorrect them while reading. Also we talked about content. It is ok if you do not like to read andlearn about certain things. In life we sometimes have to, but you also have choices. It is my jobto find material on their reading levels that they will enjoy reading.
Sometimes assessments can be a student’s choice.
Assessment can still be effective this way. It just may require a little more imagination on the part of the teacher. Students can chooseactivities of their liking. Paper and pencil tests are still necessary, but portfolios and projectswith lots of color are wonderful. I know that students feel more motivated to do a good job