That is the question that Jeanette Deutermann, the founder of Long Island Opt Out asked. The respondents were all 3-8 teachers who must give Common Core tests and are evaluated by their students’ scores. This is how they responded. Isn’t this how school for young children should be?
If I know in the fall that the majority of my students will be refusing the state assessments this spring….
… then it would make sense to me to develop a parallel teacher made exam to be given in class. This exam would be of age appropriate length and truly reflect what was taught and learned over the year so that both student and teacher could really understand the progress that was made.
I would re-engage my creative talents to tailor this year’s goals in the most appropriate manner for each of my students … and to once again make school a place of adventure, warmth and consistency.
Listen longer to the children and let them tell their stories of life.
I will do more hands on projects they will really remember when they get older!
I would do more music, poetry and plays
Get back to creative teaching and allowing my students to enjoy learning!
I would teach content that mattered without being shackled by convergent reasoning.
I can teach based on their learning needs and styles!
I would focus on cross-curricular connections between my subject and others. Allow students to engage in deeper discussions when questions arise without worrying about getting all the “content” in. Listen more to students sharing thoughts and ideas which in turn allows them to feel the discovery of learning instead of the “teacher teaches at them.”
Focus on reading and writing for life instead of reading and writing “for the test”.
I would try to inspire a love of learning. How would I do that you ask? I would use the Common Core Standards to guide my instruction and I would not spend endless instructional hours on test prep. My lessons would be developmentally appropriate to my students abilities.
I will be able to reinforce concepts they struggle with instead of trying to finish everything by April! I can differentiate and individualize my instruction.
Allow my students the time they need to grasp difficult concepts by going deep into each skill set rather than a quick overview to keep pace with the requirements. I also agree with the educators who want to help create projects that students will remember for a lifetime.
…,this knowledge would increase student life long learning because their affective filter will be lowered and the content of my lessons would be more meaningful.
I would be able to slow down the math curriculum and not shove it down their throats!
…teach what matters, help them sharpen their critical thinking skills, develop their curiosity, heighten their awareness of justice in their world, really teach mathematics, and perhaps help them to learn to LOVE a good book.
I would enjoy the journey I would be allowed to take with my unique class.
Simply put; I can allow my class to be the kids that they are.
Morning and afternoon meetings w Responsive Classroom and Olweus to make the stress of demanded curriculum, and test prep take a back seat to what is really needed. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Just Let Me Teach!
Take more risks, do more creative studies and keep our common core test practice books on the shelf to gather dust.
I will continue to teach my students literature, writing, and effective communication the same way I have been doing it for the past twenty years. I refuse…to teach to a test.
I can meet them where they are and teach from that point. I don’t have to skip skills that are missing because the pace must be kept to cover curriculum. I can take more time and not feel like I’m constantly pushing because the clock is weighing on me. ( I am a reading teacher in a title 1 school. Most of my students are Ells, many have disabilities)
I would be able to teach children, not the test material.
I will bring back author studies, show and tell, creative writing and projects!
I would teach measurement by cooking. I would teach fractions with pizza. I would teach multiplication and division with Cuissinaire Rods. I would use magic rulers to measure the desks, notebooks, textbooks, the classroom, the hallway, the school. I would go on a field trip to the fruit market and learn about money………………
I will be thrilled and be sure to find a way to let their parents know I’m on their side completely.
I would be overwhelmed with joy and let parents know that I support them and would NEVER teach to a test. Do what I do best, LOVE, NURTURE, GUIDE, and EXPLORE.
I will teach what I know they need and build their confidence
I would read more fiction and focus on the lessons of humanity they offer. I would do more projects so students could use their strengths (multiple intelligences) to show what they have learned. I would focus more on basic grammar (spelling, punctuation, etc.) than trying to get kids to figure out why an author put certain information in one section rather than another.
The pressure would be off. And even though I truly work hard to ignore it and just be the best teacher I can, it’s like the elephant in the room. My students all learn at different rates and I work to let them set the pace, not the test… But it’s looming presence is in the background.
I’d teach math the way I learned it!!!
I could go back to the project-based, interest based teaching I did twenty years ago.
Allow my special education students to explore their interests and talents.
I would allow my students the freedom to explore their interests and develop at their own pace as children their age should.
Go on more field trips which allow for more “real world” learning and connections.
I will be able to teach them a wide range of curriculum, in a creative, non threatening environment… While taking the time to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of all learners. A TRUE vision of no child being left behind!
I would feel a tremendous reduction in the anxiety I sometimes get overwhelmed with when I question my decision to REFUSE to teach to the test. Prior to the testing mania, I refused as well, but never felt anxiety about that decision because my job/livelihood were not relying on how my students did on these tests. I know the tremendous way my students grow in a creative, hands on, and a literature rich environment. Knowing the majority of my students would be refusing in September would also give me even more hope that the craziness may end sooner rather than later. Elia might not even bother wasting our time & taxpayers’ money with her “toolkit” to help “educate” what she must think are dumb NY parents.
I would teach higher order thinking skills through exploration and hands on activities that are memorable.