Friday, July 6, 2018

I feel terrible

by Mark Heintz

I feel terrible.

Another year of AP is officially over. The scores are released.  The data is tabulated. This time of year never brings out the best in me.  Let me state this: this year was amazing and my scores were great!  I documented the whole year (shameless plug, you can read about it here).  Yet, once I look at the data, I still feel terrible.

I feel terrible because I reduce a students experience to a score.
I feel terrible because learning gets reduced to data.
I feel terrible because I use the term "pass rate" to describe my class.
I feel terrible because I get excited about the number of 4's and 5's I get.
I feel terrible because I cheer myself up and bring my self down as I read through each kid's score.
I feel terrible because scores will change how some students feel about the year, for better or worse.
I feel terrible because I make excuses for myself as I read through the scores.
I feel terrible because I make excuses for the students as I read through the scores.
I feel terrible because I overly praise myself for scores.
I feel terrible because I compare myself to last year.
I feel terrible because I compare myself to other teachers.
I feel terrible because I compare myself to the national data.
I feel terrible because I see how much pressure I put on myself.
I feel terrible because I see how much pressure students put on themselves.
I feel terrible because the numbers mean so much to people.
I feel terrible because I know history means so much more than a test and a course.
I feel terrible.

Even the College Board does not place as much emphasis on the scores as I do. They just make qualifications based on the scores.  I know that is not exactly true, but still, I think we put too much emphasis on the scores.

I don't think I'm alone.  I wanted to put my voice out there because I care about my students, and because they are more than a number and so am I. 

No comments:

Post a Comment