Defending and Understanding
“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” (Lopez, 2013)
Assessments should be a continuous activity in a classroom. Assessments allow the teacher to know where the students are excelling and where they still need help. Moving on to another topic when the students struggle with the current one is not productive and just the opposite is true. If students understand the material, then the class can move on to the next topic keeping them involved and not bored with class lessons. Assessments are an aid for the teachers to guide their lessons and gauge where students are at but it also serves the student as a guide to where they need to focus their study on. It will confirm what they need to work on and what they have accomplished.
Four Questions Related to Assessments
- Why are you participating in the assessment that you use with your students?
- Can you share in the 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?
The four questions Lopez discusses under “Defending our Assessment Practices” should be on the back burner of every assessment we give to our students. The second question, which I find to be the most important, Can you share in explicit detail the value that you find in each assessment. Before choosing an assessment, it should be clear what results the teacher is looking for. What is being assessed? The assessment should complement the skill set. Which brings us to the first question, Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with your students. Clearly the first two questions will aid in choosing the proper assessment. Keep in mind the assessment needs to hold value. Holding value means choosing the right assessment for the skill looking to be mastered. Asking question number three, Do you participate in assessments that you find no value in for students, allows the teacher to re-evaluate their means of teaching and assessing. The assessment has no point with no value to the lessons being assessed. Lastly, no one should be using an assessment that they do not know how to deliver and if needed then help should be sought out. This relates to question four; Are you using an assessment you have no idea how to deliver, but are afraid to ask for help? If there is hesitance in seeking help, one should re-evaluate their end goal as an educator. Seeking help and clarity among colleagues will only bring a stronger education system. It is not about the teacher and what they know and don’t know; it is about the students and giving them the best education possible. As teacher, I tell my students, if you need help, ask questions. If I expect my students to sought out help for clarity about a topic or skill then the same should be held accountable for me, the teacher. Asking questions is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of the motivation one has to understand, creating a more educated person.