No! I’ll repeat that answer, No!
If a school district wishes to give a bonus to a teacher it should be for the teacher’s success at his/her craft.
There have been bonuses for teachers whose professional skills have created an outstanding educational atmosphere in the classroom. Students were happy, parents were happy, and administrators were never concerned about the professional ability of that teacher to take charge. The creativity of that teacher was recognized by many in the educational community.
You can give a bonus to a teacher who has had many articles published in educational periodicals. Awards have also been given to teachers who have represented the district well as they gave presentations at various educational conferences.
In fact, teachers have received a bonus for achieving perfect attendance for the school year. All of these criteria I have mentioned pertain to the teacher’s talents…not the children. There are too many variables which the individual teacher cannot control when it comes to children.
1. Many students do not have a good night’s sleep before the day of the exam. The teacher cannot control what happens in the child’s home.
2. Whether the children have a healthy breakfast on the day of the exam is also out of the teacher’s control. We can recommend a healthy breakfast, however, we are not in charge!
3. In many families parental pressure placed on the student to “score high” causes great stress on the children. We can only do our best to create a calm environment for the test,
4. There have been several children who have gotten sick on the day of the test. I can remember having to null and void a test booklet because the child had to leave the room in a hurry, because they were ill.
5. Many classrooms are designed with basic skills students and students who are classified and do not take the exam in the homeroom. Some classrooms have more students with higher educational capabilities than others. How can the test scores of these classes be compared since some classes will never be able to score as high as other rooms. A child can only give you their best and that is all we can expect. If a child cannot test well because of their educational level, why would the teacher be penalized for that?
The teacher can and should prepare the class with successful test taking strategies. These strategies are introduced in September and are continued throughout the year. It is also important that the test be administered in a calm and relaxed environment. When the test is completed it is a great idea to do stretching exercises, have a tasty snack and enjoy the rest of the day completing a wonderfully engaging hands-on activity.
Yes, you can recognize a teacher’s talent at creating a fine educational atmosphere in which the students thrive! However, No, you should not give out bonuses for the test results of the students in your classroom.