I used to love the month of January. Not the weather, the concept of the month.

It was a month for new beginnings. For resetting classroom routines. For trying out something new.

Not any more.

Now January is a month of drudgery. Of test. After test. After test.

This week, I mapped out all of the assessments being required of my fourth grade students. It was shocking to write them down in one place: 2 days of ACCESS testing for my ELLs plus 15 minutes per student for the ACCESS Speaking subtests (about another day), Math pre- and post- module tests, Math Benchmark test, Scholastic Reading Inventory, Science District test, Scholastic Math Inventory, and a Writing On Demand test.

That’s 10 mandated tests in 20 days. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

January used to be fun for kids and for teacher. It used to be full of teachable moments. Of going outdoors on a cold day and exploring what happens to bubbles when you expose them to cold. Of celebrating the 100th day of school by pretending it was 100 degrees outdoors.  Not any more.

Now January is a month of tests. I dislike January. A lot.


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