One young lady told me she had not been to sleep properly for three nights because she was so worried about NAPLAN. We do our best to reassure kids that this is just a snap shot to help schools provide the best possible education but kids know the truth!
They know the letter will arrive.
They know they will be judged.
I watched the children intently yesterday as they chatted, grappled with maths problems and composed sentences and paragraphs. I listened to these children as they read their written maths aloud to help them comprehend the needed processes.
I watched a young man write a cohesive essay about the Stolen Generation and a year one child concentrate valiantly as she tried to get her letters to “bump up” against each other!
I was in awe as students compared a written text versus a filmed version of a fable. They were easily able to do this- even though there were quite young children in our class.
Our students continually inspire me. Sure- some of them have spelling and reading issues and quite a few seem to have an aversion to maths BUT there are so many elements involved in education and the important ones simply cannot be captured by NAPLAN.
Kindness: the children showed great patience as a student attempted over and over to interrupt the teaching to avoid the inevitable writing that would follow! They certainly showed a much greater degree of patience than I did!
Creativity: One young student thought a writing task I had set was a little boring so his answer was all in rhyme- all six sentences!
Confidence: after telling a child that the way she had spelled a word was not the usual way, she looked at me in a kindly way, “Vicky this is the way I spell it!”
Persistence: One of our students came to us totally illiterate and yet yesterday could write 1.5 pages about herself and possible career paths within 5 minutes!
The children’s intelligence, persistence, creativity, resilience and confidence and kindness will never be measured in national testing and yet surely these are the most important qualities of all?