Sinead Stewart

“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students”.

I think that Mr. Lopez’s quote is a great reminder to teachers that get lost in their personal feelings towards teaching and the education system. I think that every teacher would agree that there are times when we get overwhelmed with different rules that are given to us, and unfortunately we forget about the needs of our students. Our main concern is creating a positive learning environment for our students to learn effectively and achieve their goals. This quote supports my beliefs on the role of teaching. In this chapter, Mr. Lopez also gave helpful ways to implement to create an environment that focuses on students’ academic success before and while assessments are taking place. Assessments are used because it helps the teacher understand what level their students are reaching, their areas of strength, and areas of weakness. This helps educators change or implement new strategies to help them comprehend the material and prepare them for future lessons.

Defending Our Assessment Practices

Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students?

Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment?

Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students?

Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help with?

I believe that all teachers should remember these questions when planning an assessment for a student. We have to defend our reasons behind administering assessments because that is meant to be used as a tool to measure students. It is important to ensure that the assessment will be appropriate for collecting data on the specific area. If we are conducting assessments for the sake of just giving one, this will be pointless and have no benefit for our students. Therefore, providing explicit detail on the value of each assessment promotes effective data and helps teachers attain more information to assist students. The last question, made me automatically think of the importance of collaboration. When we collaborate with others it allows colleagues to get creative and also share techniques that has worked for them in the past. However, if a teacher does not want to ask for help I will encourage them to use various sources such as social media and teacher blogs. I would strongly suggest that the teacher finds one person they feel confident with and express their difficulty. We have to keep in mind that it is not about our own personal insecurities, but the success of our students.

Student Partners

I think that it is extremely important when students play a role in their education. I have noticed in the past that some students begin making strides once the teacher shares goals and expectations with them. I work in a pre-kindergarten classroom and even though they are young, I explain the assessment to the students before I start. I will even explain the assessment to the entire class the week of the assessment, but I also tell each student privately before I begin. Assessments can be a nerve wrecking process at any age; therefore, I want my students to understand and feel comfortable once they begin. I also give my students the opportunity to tell me what areas they need help with so we can go over it together to clarify all questions and concerns. Most students are interested in their education; therefore, we need to give them the opportunity to become proactive.