How do you define success as a teacher? This question has at least ten answers, if not more. You have probably heard of the recent movement in some districts to give raises and conduct downsizing based on teacher success in the classroom. This is good old meritocracy, but the problem is: they define this with test scores. What if you start off with a under-achieving class? Is it fair to hold you to the same standard as honors teachers or teachers with different socio-economic class mixes? NCLB kicked this country into a stupor of test scores. The litmus test in the past ten years has only been test score results. Something quantifiable on a test. This has to be part of the equation, but it is not everything.
Here are our class’s recent test results. As you can see, the winter was a little rough. I am glad that we had a major gain in the spring, and on average, we are only three points away from the red line of “success.” But what about other types of success? Are tests truly a trustworthy predictor of student achievement in the future in the workplace / or a good indicator of how hard they have worked thus far?
How do you measure:
- work ethic
- artistic vision
- passion for content
- aborption in a book
- social skills
Here are some recent indicators of success in my classroom, beyond the test: