So it is that time of year. Not a time I’ve ever experienced because I used to teach early childhood, but a time I’m probably going to need to get used to. It’s assessment time. I’ve been provided booklets for my first graders to assess what they learned during the first quarter and then a less formal packet to assess what they know of what we are supposed to learn about in the second quarter.
Disclaimer: I did not know we were supposed to learn the things on the quarter 1 assessment already. Yes, there is support for lesson planning online and there it tells me what I’m supposed to teach but I’ve only just started to understand that site. Also, even with understanding, I’m still not clear on what curriculum or what parts of curriculum or …well, really any of it. I feel lost. But I’m kind of excited about completing these assessments because now at least I will know what I should be teaching. And…most of what I need to teach is on the quarter 1 assessment. Most of my students can not put 3 numbers in order from least to greatest and those that can certainly can’t do it consistently.
I had a chance to talk with another Federal Setting 3 teacher and she agreed. She also doesn’t have the right curriculum, doesn’t know how to teach what she’s supposed to teach and felt like she hadn’t adequately prepared her students for the assessment. We both feel frustrated that we have become those teachers who just use worksheets.
The assessments were to be completed by today. It has taken me two weeks for students to complete 4 assessments that other classes completed in 2-4 days. Going forward we will use these assessments to do “deep dive planning “. They are getting us subs for a few hours next week to meet with our grade level teams to plan directly from our quarter 2 assessments. The challenge I see with that is I really need more time talking with other special ed teachers about how and what they are teaching. I don’t feel that meeting with my grade level team is always helpful.
Today has ended and my students have gone home and I still have a small stack of assessments that are incomplete. I’m trying to not let all of this stress me but I desperately want to teach these kids. I want them to feel successful. I hope something in this process will help.