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Kritique Kritics: Being True to Yourself

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Being True to Yourself

Over the last several weeks as we have been preparing for the big standardized test I have found a change in my teaching style. Gone was the creative teacher who used art, drama, and poetry to bring concepts to life. In her place was the robot sergeant. And I didn't like her. This drill sergeant barked out formulas, quizzed them repeatedly, and shouted, "This is the most important test of the year! You have to do well!" Needless to say the smiles and warmth I'd come to know all year were replaced by furrowed brows and distance.
I had forgotten myself and the kind of teacher I wanted to be.
In today's No Child Left Behind Act climate it is frightening to be a teacher. Not only does California have the highest standards in the nation but we also have the most second language learners of any state. What does that mean? California's test is tougher. And the pressure is on.
And we pass that pressure onto our kids.
So today I decided to do things differently. I greeted every single one of my students with a smile and a handshake at the door and told them how proud I was of all the work they'd done so far.
Then, instead of shouting and cajoling, I cheered, "You guys rock!"
They really do. I knew that all along. And however they do on this STAR test won't change that.


Blogger Jim Leonard said...

Dear Smiley Faced Robot:

It is so good to see the bigger picture ... I am quite sure your students know you love them ... and have their best interest at heart.

I applaud your efforts. And especially the fact that you knew something had to change ... and you found a solution.

Keep up the good work.

May 21, 2008 at 5:31 AM  

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