Teacher as Coach, Student as Athlete


As it is said, the role of the teacher has evolved to that of a coach, rather than direct deliverer of knowledge. Nowhere is this truer than in the testing grades.

You doubt we teachers are like coaches training our student-athletes? Think again. We are teaching them all those nifty test-taking strategies that they need to compete with and defeat the Big Bad Test (BBT). We’re having them practice those strategies over and over until they do them automatically and have them ingrained in their muscle memory. In fact, we want them doing them so often and so well that they don’t even have to think when the BBT arrives! It’s like the World Series and Super Bowl all in one, don’tcha know.

In New York, we’re improving the stamina and endurance of third grade student-athletes by increasing the length of their test. We’re exercising their minds and bodies with marathon practice tests so that they can – get this! – sit still for the three or four or whatever hours without losing concentration!  Testing is a marathon, not a sprint, and we want our student-athletes in top form on race (to the bottom) day!

All this practice, endurance training, and coaching is designed to help our student-athletes. The common goal is victory over the test.  Only thing is, that victory is like a Mets win in spring training: utterly meaningless.

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