Picture It…

Picture It:

9×9 room – four boys and one girl – two adults – one bilingual aide and one teacher – three testing dividers – 10 sheets of scrap paper – 5 #2 pencils – plastic protractors and rulers – Japanese dictionaries – five copies of a standardized tests.

My five students: Two of them arrived last year while the other three arrived this year. My Japanese students are usually only here for 3-5 years due to the rotation of the employees at the Honda Plant. What is the purpose of testing them? Does knowing their score better help me teach them English?

What do these scores tell me about my students? They tell me how they compare to other kids in their grade. Will it change the way I teach? Yes…I”m changing what I teach in order to teach them how to take this test and navigate it.

Is it teaching to the test? No, I”m teaching test set-up, testing literacy and test taking skills. Is this what I’d like to spend my time? NO…

I want to teach my students creativity…I want to teach them how to think in the real world…I want to teach them how to be brave and take risks…I NEED to teach them how to navigate the English language and a new world.