Last year’s test scores are back. Mine are good. In-the-media good. Everyone’s-congratulating-me good. Biggest-relief-of-my-life good.
It’s especially exciting because I stressed out for so much of last year over how to teach math. Everyone around me was giving me advice that effectively amounted to teaching to the test. I didn’t want to ignore the experts, but I also didn’t want to teach math that way. I wanted to develop kids who could think their way through a problem, rather than plug their way through an algorithm. People told me that I’d ruin my test scores, and I shrugged and told them the kids would do better in the long run. But I was absolutely terrified that by not focusing enough on testing, I would ruin my school’s reputation and make my kids feel and look like failures. I cried the whole way home from work on Test Day, doubting myself and wondering if I’d made a huge mistake by doing my own thing.
And then the scores came in, and suddenly everyone is taking me seriously. It’s pretty fantastic.