It’s that time of year again in Australian schools. The time when a large swathe of students sit our National Assessment Program… and the time just after that, when the writing component is marked by a slightly smaller swathe of teachers.
Myself being one of them. This could explain the reason while I’m unusually feeling the need to use a variety of punctuation marks and ensure I haven’t erroneously inserted any splice commas along the way.
Yes. That’s how it rolls.
(Hopefully the intentionality of that most recent paragraph break was valid)
A friend sent me a WhatsApp the other day asking how the marking was going and whether I’d noticed any improvement. Having marked last year also, this is a decent question to ponder. Are the yearly tests leading to improvements in student learning and skill acquisition?
And is NAPLAN even the right way to find that out?
…Had to say it.
Regardless of any or all of that, it did get me thinking about the fact that, well, yes, it is that time of year again. We’re back there again and, thanks to my friend asking the question, I’m wondering: is anything getting better? Have we made any progress?
This instantly makes me think of Pilgrim’s Progress and consequently, the Christian life. Are we making any progress? Are we getting anywhere? Has a year gone by and we’ve, well, not progressed in our spiritual life. Are standards rising or slipping? And how do you measure it?
That’s the thing about the Christian life. There is no annual PDP (or whatever your workplace calls it). There are no institute standards with their various sub dot points to determine where you are placed on the Evaluative Framework.
We walk by faith, not by sight. And not by levels of accreditation either (praise the Lord for that one).
The only level required is the one met by Jesus on the cross. He puts us up onto the highest tier.
But that’s salvation. What about the walk afterwards? What are the check points and the indicators of spiritual growth? And what does ‘getting somewhere’ even look like when you’re exploring spiritual things?
I know I’ve blogged on this before. It seems that improvement, not wasting time, productivity and having somewhere and/or something to show for it, is a very real desire for humanity generally, but perhaps more so in the modern western world. So it appears to be a theme I keep coming back around to…
I think I’ll ponder this one this week as I continue my marking.
Yours in checking for splice commas,