Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Hope My Students Learned

Today is the first day of June.  The school year is winding down, and in a week or two the state assessment scores will come back.  We'll look at the data and determine which students learned math, which were proficient in reading, and which students are good at "being students."

To tell you the truth, though, I really don't care all that much.  To start with, I'm pretty confident that my students learned the content they were supposed to this year.  I don't need a standardized test to tell me that.  The formative assessments that I build into my lessons give me that data all year long.  There's a bigger reason that I'm a bit apathetic about the results, though.

The most important things I want my students to have learned this year weren't on those tests.  These things can't be measured by filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil.

I hope my students learned that learning isn't something that happens only in school, but is something that can and should happen all the time.  I hope they learned the habit of learning.

I hope my students learned that being right isn't as important as being able to think.  Our history books are full of individuals who failed many times and still rose to greatness.

I hope that my students learned to question the validity and bias of all information that is being sold to them, even if a teacher is the one selling it.  I hope they continue to ask "why?"

I hope that my students learned to seek their passion when choosing a career path.  5th grade is not too early to start thinking about your future, and doing what you love and what is rewarding to you is worth more than all the money in the world. 

Most of all, I hope that my students learned that the score that comes back on that state test, whether high or low, doesn't define them any more than their height or eye color.  It's what they do with their given talents that will be their legacy.


  1. Amen. It's scary how, even in my experience in second grade last school year, kids get so anxious about testing, when it truly doesn't matter all that much.

  2. Great, Mike! Yes, I want my students to think, to be life-long learners, to be inquisitive, to wonder, to imagine, to TRY without fear of failing, to explore, to question, to follow their passion, to share their gifts and talents and know that it is in giving that we receive!