Slice of Life: Between Assessment and Learning

A mother looked at test results and grades from previous years and she worries. Her child’s growth rates are not quite to grade level.

She questions. Will he make it?
Graphic novels, is this “real” reading?
Homework?
Vocabulary words?
Spelling?

I answer,
yes, graphic novels are reading,
to finding things your child loves to read,
and to reading.
A lot of reading.

With that, the stress of scores and grades lifts off the parent and child. Books hold us up and float us back to a place of understanding and hope. Parents remember their experiences.  Some loved to read, others admit to struggle. For a moment, with the mention of books, we breathe knowing with continued reading and support this student will succeed.

I’m like this parent at times, living in the place between assessment and learning. I teach to pursue the latter. That always drives the bus. But the former lingers, a shadow waiting in the wings. Threatening. Questioning.

Will they make it?
Graphic novels, is this “real” reading?
Homework?
Vocabulary words?
Spelling?

But then, I remember the importance of time spent doing. I remember the books and the end destination of being and becoming a reader and writer. I remember the journey is a different map for every child.

I remember and say yes
to finding things the child loves to read,
and to reading.
A lot of reading.

And a sense of purpose returns in the world between assessment and learning.

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Between Assessment and Learning

  1. Love thinking about the space between assessment and learning. Love the poetic ways you describe the conversations between you and the mom? I’ll ask Michelle’s question, too? Hope to see you in Atlanta!

  2. We need to be the voice of calm and reason for parents in order to provide that reassurance. We definitely have to think about the space for assessment and learning because that place has to be joyous. Authentic reading and writing experiences and lots of them are key. Thanks for your post!

  3. That assessment looms long and heavy. I love how you turned to the practice and love of reading for the answer. Reading will gets us there…

  4. So very true, Julieanne . . .”But the former lingers, a shadow waiting in the wings. Threatening. Questioning.” We just cannot allow the assessment to be the driver. Keep up the good work! ❤

  5. I’ve always been a reader, but this made me remember how many, many comic books I devoured as a young child. Maybe they’re close to graphic novels? I love reading about the trust between this parent and you, Julieanne. I know your worries, but she felt so good that you gave her hope that her child would be okay.

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