Kimberley Asselin sits in a rocking chair in front of her 22kindergartners, a glistening smile across her face as she greets them for themorning. Even at 9 a.m., she is effervescent and charismatic.
Yet behind Asselin′s bright expression, her enthusiasm is fading.
Asselin,24, is days away from finishing her first year as a teacher, the career of her dreams since shewas a little girl giving arithmetic lessons on a dry-erase board to her stuffed bears and dolls.
While she began the school year in Virginia′s Fairfax County full of optimism, Asselin nowfinds herself, as many young teachers do, questioning her future as an educator. What changed in themonths between August and June She says that an onslaught of tests that she′s required to give toher five-and six-year-old students has brought her down to reality.
"It′ s more than a first-year teacher ever imagines," Asselin said."You definitely have a lot ofhighs and lows, and it keeps going up and down and up and down."
New federal data that the Education Department released in April shows that about 10 percent ofnew teachers leave the profession within the first year on the job, and 17 percent leave within five yearsof starting. Though far lower than earlier estimates, it still means that many young educators bail fromthe classroom before they gain much of a foothold. For Asselin, testing has been the biggest stressor.
The proliferation of testing in schools has become one of the most contentious topics in U.S.education. The exams can alter the course of a student′s schooling and can determine whether ateacher is promoted or fired. In Virginia,
schools earn grades on state-issued report cards based onthe scores students earn on mandatory end-of-year exams.
The Fairfax County school system, one of the nation′s largest, boasts that its kindergartenstudents take part in coursework that exceeds the state′ s standards. Unlike most states, Virginia hasnever adopted the Common Core State Standards, but Virginia officials say that the state′ s academicstandards are just as--or more--rigorous.
Asselin said that means that even the youngest students in public school are trader an academicmicroscope, making kindergarten about far more than socialization and play time.
Why does Asselin question her future as an educator in less than a year′ s time
A.It is a common practice for American young teachers.
B.She has experienced too many highs and lows in her work.
C.It is totally beyond her expectation to give kids endless test.
D.She has grown tired of greeting her kindergartners every day.