Yes: It wouldn’t be fair to my students for me to throw out the concept or concern for tests so they can focus on the fun of learning and they perform poorly on their tests. Testing isn’t going away. Grades matter to the kids and people who will evaluate them based on their scores in the future. Yes enjoyment of learning is important, but they have to get the same essential information as everyone else.
No: I do feel that if the students begin to enjoy and become curious about the subject then they will seek the essential information on their own and through engagement will be able to do more than just regurgitate facts. They will have truly understood the material and formed genuine opinions rather than just taking on mine. They will be learning to think.
The true answer, I’m sure, lies somewhere in the middle. I sat down with my instructional leader who helped me resolve some of this for myself. Granted, this is still a work in progress as I fully form as a teacher, but mixing together these two halves of my thought process will no doubt be beneficial for my students. It’s a tough line to walk.
Strong instructional leadership