I can’t quite remember how it happened but even by day two of school my classroom started to take on the look of New England in winter under several inches of snow. Drifts of copies piling up on every available surface the occasional sheet or two fluttering to the floor. I am still trying to dig my way out. The look is far from a winter wonderland. On the contrary, the patches of white grow exponentially with no end in site. I can’t fault our grade level assistant. She is very efficient and makes sure I have everything I need. The trouble is not a lack of excellent consumables but a vast landscape of paperwork and the absence of time.
Assessments come in many shapes and sizes. They can inform instruction providing clarity, shedding light on areas of need. Teachers differentiate instruction based on assessment results, observations and historic data but too much of a good thing can push the boundaries of effectiveness and become more central to education than education itself. I wonder what it would be like to teach without formal assessments for the first few weeks of school.