I was projecting the day’s lesson onto the white screen in front of the class.
“Math? Why do we have to do math?” one of my students asked. “The tests are over.”
For this class, the big, standardized tests for the year had just finished, although the kids one grade ahead had another week of testing coming at them. Let’s be clear that the report card grades for the year were not in yet. School had another week and some left which all the students knew. But in this kid’s mind, the year had officially ended.
I responded that we were there to learn. The end of the big tests did not end the need to study math. My student and a number of his friends appeared unconvinced. With the tests over, and having received assurances from me that everyone in class was passing, a group within that particular math class appeared ready to shut down, regardless of days left in the school year.
Eduhonesty: Kids are often smarter than we give them credit for. At this point, a number of my students seem convinced that instruction is all about hitting test targets. We’ve been telling them that, often indirectly and sometimes even directly. I’m not surprised that this group has decided that any school days remaining after the final standardized test are essentially irrelevant. Hell, I’m not even sure they’re not right.
Nonethesless, I will continue to teach math.