My mind began to race. I could actually feel myself starting to get warm. I was suddenly overcome with frustration. Maybe it was the proverbial "last straw" trying to deal with all of the new changes. Maybe I was letting my exhaustion get the better of me. I composed myself the best I could and replied: "I do not like these at all. What I do is so much more than a number on a scale. It is about relationships. Plain and simple. It is about relationships with the kids I teach!"
Mind you, I was very respectful, but I knew it came out a little more heated than I intended. I just firmly believe that what we do as Educators, what we really inspire, can not be measure by a number. The impact we have on the students we interact with everyday can not be summed up by the median score from a state test that arrives once a year. Make that now twice a year with PARCC! How do you measure the following?
* That I have a 7th grader that does not shut down when faced with a difficult problem like he did in September?
*That I have kids staying after school ON A FRIDAY to retake a test before the weekend begins?
*That I spent time working w/ an advanced 7th grader on multiplying binomials with radicals?
*That I had 2 8th graders inform me first thing this morning that they went home to Google the name of the race of people Christopher Columbus eradicated?
*That I had 2 different 8th graders come in with permission slips to read books I mentioned yesterday?
I understand how great numbers can be. I teach Math. I get it. Thye absolutely can be used to quantify anything. I just do not think what Educators do can be viewed this way. We work with children. Our students might be pre-schoolers or high schoolers, but they are still children. I just wish the people who crunched all of those numbers got that!
I had to laugh when I heard Bob Seger's song: "I Feel Like a Number" on the way home yesterday. Needless to say, I turned the volume way up!
I am interested to hear how you are handling the movement to dwindle what we do down to a number? I would love to hear from you!