We don’t need to focus on test scores, but we do need to ensure our practice, “...changes learners in deep, profound, and lasting ways” (Weimer 2013, p. 25). George Couros states, “If students leave school less curious than when they started we have failed them” (p. 6). When we focus on doing the right thing for our students, not on test scores, everything else will fall into line as students grow, achievement rises, and we have graduates prepared for the world in which we live.
What are students curious about in your class?
Read through the following scenarios:
When we talk about “teaching to the test,” the initial focus is on the “score.” Serve the learner by helping them do well on the test. But what if the student did well on the test, but none of the content was remembered or understood a week later? The “score” trumped the learner, and ultimately, the learner didn’t benefit.
The test still lingers there. But you understand the learner in front of you, start personalizing some aspects of the learning to what they are interested in, and they started to dive deep into the content that they are “tested” on. The learner can do well on the test AND understand the learning on a deeper level.
Which scenario describes your classroom? We are in the last nine weeks of the 17/18 school year. What is one thing you can do differently? What new strategy are you willing to try? How can you change the next assignment or assessment to take student learning to the next level?
Take a risk. Try something new. Make students curious. Tell your story.