Ah, Spring! The weather has warmed. Teachers and students begin to think about the end of the school year. Teenagers are twitterpated. We are drawn outside when we have a spare moment… and bloggers are too distracted to write.
Spring is full of distractions. At this time of year, we are all guilty of staring out the window a little more often, but there are distractions far greater than those that impact our attention span.Schools are dealing with major distractions and disruptions, not least of which are standardized testing. State testing (called Standards of Learning or SOL tests, here) as well as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams create significant disruptions to class time in April and May. Isn’t assessment supposed to be an integral part of instruction, not an interruption to it?!
These exams create another problem in many schools in my district. Our school year is late. We don’t start until after Labor Day in September, so the school year doesn’t end until the last part of June. Unfortunately, though, many teachers and students feel like the learning may as well stop after those big culminating tests are over.
Don’t let this happen to you!
One of the biggest complaints from teachers about standardized tests is that the pressure to prepare students to do well on the exams takes time away from the potential for delivering really exciting instruction that may be a little experimental or out-of-the-box. Now is the time to do it! This is your opportunity to design and deliver really exciting learning experiences to your students. Take advantage of it!
…and if your instruction happens to take you outside, then so be it.