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  • Writer's pictureKatia Burdick

Teaching to the Test

During my career, I have observed firsthand the pressures that students and teachers experience to perform well on standardized assessments. These scores never tell the whole story. Our society's obsession with tests and trying to fit students into a box takes away from the goal of learning! A snapshot of how a child performs on a certain day at a certain time is not truly representative of their abilities. And when those scores come back, it breaks my heart that children compare and judge themselves.

Despite this, testing does hold value. There are curriculum standards in place to ensure that students across the country are learning appropriate skills for their age. I 100% believe that evaluations are needed to identify needs and monitor learning. However, learning that occurs outside the items on a test is equally as important.

This carries over to my approach to speech therapy. To be honest, when I started Sounds & Smiles, it was due to my frustration with IEPs and insurance companies. I wanted to be able to help without jumping through hoops. The sheer amount of time needed for documentation is overwhelming. I am in no way discounting the importance of IEPs or progress reports... don't read it that way! I am simply suggesting that the time spent on constant formal evaluations and report writing takes away from actual therapy.

I am fortunate to be able to run Sounds & Smiles in a way that works for me. I love being able to take a personalized approach and tailor sessions to the individual child.

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