For the past 6 days DPS East students have been enduring their first rounds of examinations. It was very interesting to see the process and reactions to their week of exams. The schedule of this week had students taking one exam, every morning from 8:55 to 10:00 AM. The exams included: social studies, math, Hindi, science, and English. What I noticed that was primarily different from USA testing is that most students felt more prepared for their exams. I feel like this is because DPS gears most of their curriculum towards testing. This is good and bad. Good because they seem to feel more confident and perform better on their tests, bad because they experience more anxiety as they become older. As I observed this past week I wondered how students at DPS East could still feel confident about taking their exams without having teachers and staff putting so much emphasis and pressure on the students to perform well.
This made me start thinking about the cons of American testing in schools. Problems that I have seen occurring in the states is that teachers are encouraged to be creative and have a flexible classroom syllabus. That way students can learn life skills and not just textbook material. The problem is that teachers are not given the time they need to prepare their students for exams and have creative lesson plans. I believe that the teaching culture in the untied states revolves more around student life skills than preparation for exams. This seemed fine to me until I realized why other students in different countries perform so well on tests. I feel like there has to be a way to combine the positive elements of teaching that the United States and India implement in their classrooms.
Overall, this week of examinations has shown me pros and cons to take home with me to the states. I want my future students to feel well prepared for their tests and be excited to perform to their best ability. Although, I do not want my students to feel pressured and have anxiety over their exams. I believe that a grade does not define a student. Unfortunately the rest of the world has yet to come to that realization. In the mean time I am going to try my hardest to combine both elements of the Indian and American style classroom that I think create a healthy and positive classroom atmosphere.