“Don’t give the students the answers.”
This was written in a memo packet given to the teachers in my building last week. I believe that most of this came from the District-I-Will-Not-Name and some from the State Department of Education. We are in the middle of state testing, a right of passage in the Springtime in America, kind of like allergies, having to mow the lawn, prom and graduation. All the adults are stressed out and thus make the children stressed out…and it just rolls downhill from there. I actually don’t believe testing is bad and that perhaps can be a post for another time.
What I did find offensive was the above quote. I resent being talked to like a child and I believe that, even though there are exceptions to this, most teachers would not give a child answers on a test when it is prohibited. My colleagues and I are professionals, this is what we’ve chosen to do with our lives, and to jeopardize everything we’ve worked for to give a kid answers is just a joke to me. All of my co-workers have a Master’s degree and have at least 10 years on the job. We have state licenses (some of us have two or three), we have BCI clearance, and do a job that most people would not ever consider.
Don’t get me wrong, I want my students to pass the test that I am responsible for them passing. I don’t want to be questioned in 4 months as to why my students (who are in High School at this point) did not pass a test and I take it personally when they don’t pass, thinking what could I have done better, differently, more thoroughly. But we work hard all year to get to this point and I know they will do their absolute best.
So here is my letter back to those same people who wrote those prophetic words:
I would not put everything I’ve worked for, most importantly my personal reputation, on the line to tell a kid answers on a test. They either know it or they don’t and I have faith in them that they can figure it out.
Don’t put out a memo with a stupid directive just because you are scared to death of the media getting a hold of a test question, or a text or a picture that a student sent to them from YOUR school district. Don’t talk to me like a child when YOU are the ones who can’t quite figure out how to run an efficient school district and you know that if the above said media gets a hold of something YOU will get blamed. But then, you’ve covered your ass enough to be able to blame the teachers. Which seems to be a favorite pass time of certain people these days.
Sincerely – The Teacher You Seem To Have No Faith In