In the Classroom
You Are More Than a Test Score
April 6, 2018
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Casey Dove
@CaseyMDove

As time for standardized testing draws nearer, you often hear a speech to kids that encourage them to do their best because they are so much more than one test score. There is incredible truth in that statement. Students are artists, athletes, musicians, student councilmen and so much more.

What about teachers and the pressure they feel this time of year? Depending on your state’s accountability rubric, these test scores could make up 45% or more of the number that defines you as a teacher.

To that I say –

  • You are so much more than a single number for the year. Do not let it define you.
  • You are the food that you send home with the child that otherwise might not eat all weekend.
  • You are the only smile that a child sees and the only voice that does not yell.
  • You are the inspiration for the student no one else believes in.
  • You are the silly that allows laughter after a mistake so that risks aren’t so scary.
  • You are the words of encouragement you bring to your PLC team after a hard meeting.
  • You are the early mornings and late nights pouring over the data and making plans for the next day.
  • You are the celebration when a student shows growth on a benchmark.
  • You are the preparation for real life when you pull out your own coins to help the middle school child learn how to count change.
  • You are the support for the new or struggling teacher that is having a rough year.
  • You are the conversation with the student that none of the other students include.

Teachers – you are so much more than a single test score. You are everything that you do on a daily basis to make your students better and give them a chance to grow and become successful adults. While we all want to be reward schools and see our students thrive on this upcoming test, we are more than that. You are not defined by one test day this year but by everything else you have done each and every day you showed up for kids.

Casey has served in Sumner County for eleven years. She taught three years at the Elementary level before moving to 8th grade math for eight years while coaching. She received Sumner County Middle School Basketball Coach of the Year in 2013. Casey is entering her first year as Lead Educator in Sumner County but has also acted as Demonstration Teacher, Co-Athletic Director and Department Chair for the Project Based Learning Committee. Casey received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Cumberland University and a Masters in Instructional Leadership and Administration from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She also serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow, engaging her colleagues in providing classroom feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on public education policy issues.

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