And then I had my epiphany. It wasn’t working, nor was it worth it. I was finding most other teaching stopped, kids were feeling the stress and anxiety, and they were just bubbling in those homework packets to be done with them. In my opinion, they were practicing to perform poorly. So I stopped.
This year has been markedly different. My students have been reading, writing, and thinking from Day One. They’ve been thinking about their reading, and writing about their thinking, and so on. About ten school days before the assessments, I took the “temperature” of my students. I asked them to reflect on how they were feeling about the upcoming assessment and why. Some said they felt nervous about finishing the test, about doing well and about how hard it would be. Some said they felt neutral. They voiced it was just a test and they got through it last year and would do the same this year. Some even said they were excited about the test. One young lady in particular said, “I know I’ve worked hard this year and I want to see what I’ll know”.
Kristina Lewis is a 5th grade teacher in the Lake Shore CSD, a member of the E2CCB ELA Forum and Grades 3-5 Community of Practice. She has also recently attended the Teacher Voices Convening in Phoenix, AZ and we are honored that she allows us to share her voice here.