Reflecting on what students say they truly value in their teachers--things like getting to know them personally, providing meaningful feedback, smiling--NYC educator Ariel Sacks worries that the increased focus on “data and test preparation has created a new kind of distance between today’s teachers and students.” She explains:
Educators in New York regularly refer to specific students as numbers: "She's a 1; he's a high 2..." etc. And as I spend more time looking at student work for data on what percentage of the class has mastered standard X and deciding how to respond, I have less time to give meaningful qualitative feedback on student work....
She also suspects that she and her colleagues smile less than they used to.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.