As I think about “Module 6” I can safely say that I learned many things and I feel like I have grown as a teacher because of it. I believe that teachers should have many tools in their tool box and this module has helped me put a few more helpful tools in mine. For example, a Table of Specifications is a great way to make sure test questions match the content being taught in class. Every teacher that cares about their students’ educational growth wants to improve their teaching as well. A Table of Specifications is one way to do this because it helps keep teachers stay accountable when assessing students. A Table of Specifications also gives teachers evidence that a test has validity because it covers what it should cover.
I’ve been teaching for many years now and have done assessments, but I’ve never felt like I mastered the skill of assessing. This module has challenged me to think on a deeper level about assessments and has inspired me to improve my own assessing techniques. For example, teachers can’t just do assessments for the sake of doing assessments; they need to make effective assessments instead of just collecting results and moving on. In addition, it’s important to remember that those results can’t just be collected; they need to be analyzed, discussed, organized, and measured.
This Module was also a great reminder for me to never forget that assessments are incomplete without feedback. Assessments could be well-designed on their own, but they are practically worthless unless the student understands what the assessment was designed for. It’s an awful feeling to have no clue what’s happening around you, especially when your educational growth is at stake. The teacher must communicate clearly to the student the purpose of the assessment, and then provide constructive feedback after the assessment has been made. It’s my goal to make sure all my students understand what they’re being assessed on and to also understand the feedback I have for them afterwards.
To make the assessment process easier for students (and also the parents of these students) to understand is creating clear and concise rubrics. Rubrics are not just for teachers and students, it’s a helpful tool to get parents more involved in the education of their children as well. Let’s face it, education is not a two way street between teachers and students, it’s a triangle that connects teachers, students, and parents. If any part of the triangle is missing in any way, then the education of a student is in jeopardy.
Lastly, I feel it’s necessary to help students overcome their failures and obstacles in life. This can’t be done successfully unless the proper attitude is demonstrated to them on a daily basis. Teachers have a tendency to focus more on the negative aspects of students than the positive one’s, even I struggle with this from time to time. Every so often I need to tell my students (and myself) that the only way to be truly successful is to have a positive attitude. They should have a growth mindset about life, not a fixed mindset. They can’t control what happens to them in life, but they can control the attitude they have through life.