I am getting ready to enjoy this weekend ... a long walk by the Santa Monica Beach, a quick bite to eat at Chipotle and back home to curl up on my sofa with a good book ... Aaah ... Can’t wait!
Before I get busy with my weekend though, I wanted to share something that has been on my mind for sometime now regarding the value of tests taking vs. “real” teaching.
During my High School and College years I used to love going to school, (I know, people think I am weird when I say that) truth is, except for algebra and calculus I don’t remember a subject or course I didn’t like learning about.
I remember being so intrigued about my new classes I would actually take the time to read some chapters before showing up to the first class! Not that I was an “A+” student, mind you. Not by a long shot. I was not even the competitive type.
I simply enjoyed learning new stuff and I was a sponge.
Taking tests was a different thing. Although fortunate enough to always manage to get good grades (probably due to my quick reading skills, boy did I read any book I laid my hands on!), I was never completely sold on the value of test- taking as a direct measure of learning.
How many times have you studied to pass a test only to forget about the material soon after? I know I did when I took algebra. More to the point, how many kids nowadays graduate-with good grades- from schools ill prepared for real life jobs?
As a Spanish Language tutor –a very conscientious tutor, I might add--I sometimes come across this dilemma. Students enrolled in advanced Spanish lessons wanting to score a good grade in class. Never mind that they aren’t able to respond to a, “buenos dias, como estas?” simple greeting.
Obviously, while I understand the importance of passing tests and good grades I often find myself feeling unable to truly teach those students who reach out to me for the sole purpose of passing a test. Especially when the student has so much more potential and aptitude.
So why should I care, right? Ugh ... But I do. Hence, this post.
I take it personally, I admit it. What teacher wouldn’t want his students to learn his precious, useful and wonderful subject/material?? Lol! Fortunately for me, a great majority of my students are genuinely interested in learning the languages I teach, and that definitely makes my job easier and fun.
Just my thoughts for today ...
Until next time,