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When test prep is the focus, teachers say they can turn off

Ruben, a second-year Teaching Fellow in the Bronx who’s been toying with the idea of becoming a career educator, feels like he’s losing control of his classroom. And it’s not because his kids are on their worst pre-vacation behavior. He writes:

For starters, I don’t think I have control of what I’m teaching these days. It’s all Kaplan and NYS ELA Testing and on and on it goes. And with all that my own motivation has suffered. My planning has become somewhat rote and uninspired, and therefore my lessons have exhibited that same mundane quality. Of course, the end result is my students are pushing back and rejecting my teaching. And I don’t blame them.

Luckily the test is almost over. Once it’s behind me, I hope to get back on track. I hope even the math exam won’t throw me off, because I’ll find another way to prepare for it. Meanwhile, I have 2 weeks off starting next week, and I hope to regroup, recharge and remember how to do this job right.

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