Boys are not fish

Most of us have probably heard the old adage “If you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree it will always think it is stupid”. This is commonly said about children and the current education systems ability to assess student performance.

It’s that time of year. The End. This is when we halt our regular instruction for assessments and standardized tests. This afternoon my class finished it’s 3rd round of Maps test. I like this test because it is computer based and adapts to become easier if students get questions wrong or harder if they get questions right. I saw students get questions about multiplication and division because they understood what they had been taught this year.

I like Maps because it is the only form of standardized testing we use for the common core curriculum (Arabic classes have Ministry exams to test with). While the current articles in education are about the shear multitude of standardized test taken in the USA we have been able to choose one and use only it. This leaves us time for other activities in class.

We try to find time to play football. This is where many of the boys flourish. They need the  movement and the aggression of the game to feel comfortable and be able to express themselves. Some students need the art or computer classes to show what they can do. I have a student who builds amazing things playing Minecraft at home. I have students who take care of brothers and sisters.

Most students will not do well in the confines of the current education system that calls for more tests and assessments and less creative outlets. Some students shine as we prepare to present a poem and sing a song at the end of the year concert, they have never been so focused or engaged.

Boys are not fish, though most of mine act like monkeys and can climb a treed but not all. Some don’t like to climb and some would rather fly. We have to remember that most of our students have talents that lay outside what a pencil and paper test can test for. They are unique and special and they need to be allowed to flourish. Thank Heavens for Summer Break.

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