Overall, it went well. My students worked incredibly hard, they used time effectively, they used their tools effectively, and their ability to navigate an online assessment was strong. I was incredibly proud of them in so many ways. I think as an educator none of us will ever be in love with "standardized testing" (no matter what test or format it might come in) because we know our students aren't standard. We know the purpose, we understand the intention, but when has testing become the definition of our third trimester. I will never be against assessment, but I am against the fact that it is eating into my time instructing and my time enjoying my students and our classroom community.
This frustration actually set in when I fully understood our remaining testing schedule. We have taken 5 tests so far (which timing wise sucked up my entire afternoon on those days), and we still have 8 sessions remaining between MAPS, CMASS, and EOY PARCC (on top of that, I have my own end of year assessments along with a District Writing Assessment as well). It may not sound like a lot, but when you look at the calendar after Spring Break it will eat up a considerable amount of days. My fear is not that my students will not rise to the occasion, because I know they will, my fear is that I won't be able to complete my instruction with all the interruptions. I still need to teach my entire Informational Writing Unit. I have two separate Book Clubs for reading, I still have plenty of math concepts to cover, and yet on 8 days over the next two months my time will be spent elsewhere. This is stuff I want to be spending my time on, this is my JOB as a teacher, giving my students genuine learning opportunities. My frustration is that it seems like my job title has changed from teacher or guide to proctor this trimester.
Moving forward, I know I will make the best of it, we always do, but I can only hope the quality becomes the goal instead of the quantity we are facing. I want to get back to my real job doing what I love so I can finish the year with my students the same way I started it, learning together and expanding our minds through hard work, success, and failures.