Too Many Tests Lead to a Kindergarten Teacher’s Resignation

Teacher resigns

As a teacher, do you ever feel that you’ll one day reach a breaking point with red tape? For one Massachusetts kindergarten teacher, that day arrived last February, when she realized her passion for the job had been swallowed up by the waves of paperwork and assessment training that seemed to grow every year. After 20 years at the same school district, she sent a resignation letter that regretfully explained the difficulty she faced in increasing testing and data collection while still focusing on truly useful early childhood education.

As a veteran teacher, Susan Sluyter had seen her fair share of new training programs, assessments and teaching methods. Eventually, though, she felt the increasingly rigorous kindergarten standards and the requirements for endless teacher development became too much. In her words, “I reached the place last year where I began to feel I was part of a broken system that was causing damage to those very children I was there to serve.” With two decades of experience behind her, it’s easy to see how Ms. Sluyter viewed the constant movement towards more data and measurable progress as obscuring the kids’ education, the true point of the job.

If you’re a teacher who works in a school system where it feels like you’re running in circles, you should certainly read Sluyter’s full resignation letter and explanation over at The Washington Post‘s website. Even if you’re not in a situation like hers, the letter still offers great insight into the world of early education and the ways schools may be failing their students, even as they strive harder than ever to measure their success.

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3 Responses to “Too Many Tests Lead to a Kindergarten Teacher’s Resignation”

  1. Christine AkersApril 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    I did this very thing just this past February! I taught for 10 years, and just couldn’t stand what the high stakes testing had done to me as a teacher and the students who I taught. My passion for teaching had been sucked dry, and I was no longer permitted to educate my students. I was only allowed to teach what would be on the test; and they test those kids TO DEATH!!! So, one day I submitted a resignation letter and walked away from what used to be my passion.

  2. AmyApril 20, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    When I went to kindergarten, I left thinking I couldn’t read. I remember it being kind of hard just trying to get along with my classmates and memorizing new things. Now they’re increasing tests? Someone like me would have had a panic attack over increased expectations (I hated the idea of failing anyone) that shouldn’t exist for someone that young! There are other ways to test a kid without doing paper exams! Good for this teacher.

  3. Melissa LemanApril 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Kindergarteners should not be doing a ton of tests!!!