Monday, 29 August 2011

I teach "Y", but they evaluate me "Z". I am a teacher, what do you want from me?

One of the problems we can find on education, is at the moment of evaluating. Evaluation is not the ending, but part of the process. And as such, it must be considered in the beginning of the process of planning. Having a clear goal, we can settle clear objectives and activities to get it, and therefore, a realistic process to evaluate the achievement. Although, we know that to create an objective tool of evaluation is not easy, we already know that it must be connected so well with the main goal and the teaching and learning process. As teachers, we have dealt with this problem.

But what happens if it is our work, the one being evaluated?

There is still a big gap between what we are supposed to teach, and the way how the Government is evaluating our work. We are supposed to teach the students how to talk and speak in English. How and when to use a specific kind of grammar and expressions in English. In other words, what they want from me, is that I help the students to face normal and common conversational situation. But look, most of the tests (including SIMCE* and TOEIC Bridge for SIMCE of English) evaluate grammar and sentence formation; and Listening comprenhension. But there is no oral expression.

And even more, the school has too many responsibilities, that among all of those, it is the fact that we must form good people for the society. Students must have all the good values (responsibility, honesty, punctuality, creativity, good manners, good citizen, etc.) But is there a test to evaluate that? No. All the tests just try to evaluate knowledge and some skills, but there is no evaluation for values.

We already know what we have to teach, or at least, try to develop in our students. But I think, if there is no clarity in what they want from us, as teachers, there won't be clarity in what is the product we are going to obtain. They want us to just teach content? or they want us to raise excellent and good people? Maybe both? Then we must be evaluated according to those standards and goals.

What do you think?

*SIMCE (System to measure the quality of the education)

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