Take a moment to reflect back to your K-12 school years….
Maybe you are cringing as you see the big red C- sitting at the top of your exam… or maybe you can hear your teacher’s voice: “NO TALKING. This is a test”… or maybe you’re starting to sweat as you remember the long, multiple choice quizzes over EVERY CHAPTER OF THE BOOK. Maybe you are still wishing you had been given a chance to retake that final… or groaning about all the worksheets you completed that STILL to this day have never proven useful…
On the flip side, maybe you are remembering a time you squeaked by with an A in Geometry because you won the canned food drive and got extra credit… or maybe you fondly remember the teacher that curved all the finals in 8th grade English because everyone bombed the grammar test… or maybe you remember constantly hoping for group assignments because you were able to slip into the background but still make the grade.
All of these scenarios have one thing in common: the memories you are recalling and feelings you are reliving are all the result of inaccurate, artificial approaches to assessment. Here at Athlos, we are abandoning these ways of the past and instead approaching things with a fresh lens—one that views assessment as an opportunity to inspire students on courageous journeys of exploration.
At Athlos, we firmly believe assessments, whether formative or summative in nature, should always encourage engagement, excite learning, inform teaching, and ultimately allow students demonstrate and celebrate their growth over the course of each unit. As a result of these beliefs, we are committed to fostering school environments that encourage students to try new things, risk failure, investigate with curiosity, and be vulnerable. We believe classrooms should invite students to view all assessments as opportunities to practice, fail, redo, revise, retry, and ultimately learn and grow until they are able to confidently demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in thoughtful, purposeful, relevant ways.
These assessment practices—ones that foster a growth mindset in all the students that fill our schools—in turn help lay the groundwork for graduates of Athlos to mature into courageous, persevering, humble leaders able to contribute to a better society and daily inspire others in their careers and communities to live fulfilling, responsible, successful lives.
By: Abby Fereday