Today my school had the Cambridge testers over. Now, I have nothing against these people particularly, but I have a huge issue with forcing tests onto 4, 5, and 6 year old kids.
This is just wrong, in my opinion. I get really riled when I see the amount of pressure that gets placed on these little shoulders by their parents and by the teachers in the kindergarten. Ridiculous, and harmful, to my way of thinking.
Today they showed up, after two weeks of panic and pressure. We spent the past two weeks reviewing all the target vocab with the kids, thus missing our own curriculum’s goals and greatly increasing our own workload. We worked them on all the different categories, sentence patterns and whatnot. And then what happens?
Our manager goes into the test with the first kid, sees that each category’s flash cards are in an envelope with only the category’s word on the front. She comes to each of the English teachers and interrupts the class to tell us we have to show the kids what the word “colors” looks like so that all the kids will choose what, in her opinion, is the easiest category (colors and shapes).
Now, I am confident in my teaching abilities, and I am confident that most if not all of my kids will do well in that test no matter which they choose. And I’m irritated by the assumption on my manager’s part that my kids WON’T do well unless they choose this one category.
I didn’t tell my kids which category to choose. I told them I knew they would do well, and to just relax. How can I tell them that I think this test and all others like it are a big f****** joke at this age, and their parents are idiots for signing them up? Especially when my manager wants to ‘rig’ the test in some way!
What a sad, pathetic joke.