My Today, My Frustrations, My Rant…Thank you…

I don’t even know where to begin…I had the “opportunity” to give five beginning ELLs the AIR assessment today. They are all sixth graders and have been in the country one or less years. They are able to have a translator for the directions only for the ELA assessment but for the Mathematics and Social Studies assessments, the translator can translate the entire test.

I understand the necessity for assessments; it gives us information, it should guide our instruction and what not but I don’t understand the necessity to bombard ELLs with tests that show they have something to learn…WE KNOW THAT! My beginning students worked their tails off today (one taking the entire day to work) and what will it show? They have a lot to learn.

Before we began testing today, I told them that regardless of the outcome, that I still loved them and still cared about them. When my friend and bilingual aide, Deb interpreted, I knew right away when she got to the word love…they lit up. I don’t want my students to know me as the test nazi. I don’t want them to associate me with difficult tests. I don’t want them to think less of themselves if they don’t feel successful.

One of my five just arrived last Monday so in this short time he’s been in the US, I have given him three tests…The MAC (our entrance test to see if he qualified, four parts), the OELPA (Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment, four parts) and the AIR today, then tomorrow then four more times this month. I have not taught this student…I have only given him tests.

I hate this…how can I build relationships? How can I build rapport? How can I do anything if I have to give him tests?!

Hopefully Manato understands this is my duty to give him tests and not my choice…