How much should we care about the end of year score?

Michelle Giffin today published an opinion piece on education in The Age titled “Stop Telling Students That VCE Doesn’t Matter – It Does” that I think we should pay attention to.

This ill-informed and binary idea that teachers and parents are either telling students that their end-of-year results either matter OR that they don’t is wrong and, frankly, a bit offensive.

Our educative responsibility is to have students perform as well as possible in all assessments, including summative exams and tests.

This means walking a fine line between two competing components of their brains.  The first is the neo-cortex, where our thinking is performed.  The second is our limbic system, which is our emotional centre.  The bugger is that, as human beings, we’re deplorable at using both simultaneously.

Sending our students into exams and tests with such heightened levels of anxiety, stress and pressure that they simply can’t access their neo-cortex for all of the limbic activity is as unproductive as it is irresponsible.

I trust our educators to know the difference between caring and anxiety.  I know that you’ll let them know that performing matters, and so preparation is worth the effort, determination, resilience and perseverance (all limbic responses).  But when it’s time to perform, they need somebody in their corner telling them that their whole future doesn’t hinge on the next two hours.  Tell them to relax, that they’re good enough just as they are.  Let them find their neo-cortex and at least demonstrate what they are capable of.

Never forget that good teachers are citizen builders more than test preparers.  It matters more at this time of year than we might think.

Next free WEBINAR – Adam Voigt presents “Making Facebook Work For Your School”

At Real Schools, we are amazed at how many schools are still grappling with just how to use this communicative juggernaut to their advantage, rather than their detriment. I guess it’s about wanting to make it work for good rather than evil! And it definitely can be.

This webinar will show you exactly how … and how not to. 

By registering, you can expect to find out:
* how to set up and monitor a school Facebook site.
* the posts that work, that engage and that are safe.
* connecting Facebook easily to other social media platforms.
* drastically minimising the time required to manage a Facebook page (the great Facebook “hack” you’ve been looking for!)
* making Facebook a positive space and powerful marketing tool for your school.

This webinar is targeted at school leaders, administrators and teachers of all phases of learning.