Beyond a Number

This morning I greeted many students at 7:30. The MCAS minion was ready to serve them. I was wearing a full minion costume since I would spend my day handing out pencils, erasers, and tissues. We began testing promptly at 8:30 and some students worked right until buses were dismissed (2:30). In the fall when parents get their child’s score back I asked them to remember that the number does not define their child. They need to take a look at the growth percentile of their student and see how much progress he or she has made. Their child is not just that number either but that is a much better number to look at.

Today I watched almost every student work their hardest I have ever seen them work. I observed most students making graphic organizers for 3 open responses. I watched as students tirelessly checked their work over before handing it in. So these children are hard working students who try their best. These children have empathy for others because collectively we left no man or woman behind when we had the decision to make about recess. Since kids were still working the class came back to support those still working (knowing they would get double recess another day). However as a kid that is not an easy decision to make. But these students made it look easy. They applauded when our last student completed his assessment. They showed the value of strength and true friendship today which will hopefully last long after they leave their agent head quarters.

I am so proud of my students. They showed critical problem solving skills, leading by influence, agility, and adaptability, effective written communication, and curiosity. So even on a day in which there is no creativity and imagination they still access 21st century learning skills! I encouraged parents to ask how it went today and remind students of their amazing traits they all have that make our classroom a better place to be in. And when they get that score back in the fall . . . no matter what it is . . . remember their child is not defined by that number. They rose above any number today!

About the Author: Rayna Freedman is beginning her 15th year at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, MA. She has taught grades 3-5 and is an ITS. She is also embarking on her doctorate through Northeastern as she hopes to change the field of education some day. Rayna is a member of the MassCUE Board of Directors and has been presenting at the annual conference since 2010. She serves on the DESE Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel and was the North Attleboro Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year in 2011.

For more articles by Ms. Freedman, she is published in Early Childhood Education Today 12th and 13th edition, Building Teachers: A Constructivist Approach to Introducing Education 2nd edition, and Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education 7th edition.

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