So, I was waiting for my car to get an oil change and washed and I was checking out Twitter. Here was one the things that popped up in a CUE Chat.

“Funny thing, we spent a month giving practice tests to get ready for 3 weeks of tests. So what was 6 months of curriculum for? Still hear Ts saying gotta give those IAB’s!!!!— seen on cue chat.”

How true is this? We spend so much time teaching our kids during the year. Do we really need extra testing to get them ready for the test? Is there a better way? Even my 11 year old suggests the test doesn’t really tell what kids have learned. She is a good student and stops wanting to try near the end of the test.

Nevermind those teachers that have to (want to?) give the IABs throughout the year. So, instead of a testing period of time, we turn the whole year into test prep? Is this good for students’ learning? It is arguably good for raising test scores, but is it good for their learning? Is it good for them?

Do we ever think to ask them?

This leads me to another thing I saw. This time on Matt Vaudrey’s feed.

“It’s a great time to be vulnerable, take a risk, and ask for feedback.

Teachers, give your students a Teacher Report Card:

Coach, TOSA, or Admin? Give your Ts a COACH Report Card: 

or an ADMIN Report Card: 

What is risky is that he is suggesting we ask the people under our “care” how we are doing. What is scary about this is that it is easy to think we are doing great things, when some of the things we do may not be so great to those we are trying to help.
The flip side is sometimes we can get a glimpse into how we are making a difference.
So, I challenge you (and myself) to give it a shot.
Plus, maybe don’t feel pressure to do ALL the IABs. Instead, give your gives a genuine pep talk, have some fun together while learning and wish them luck on the “test”. They (and we) are not defined by this ONE test out of a year of learning and assessments.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.