I saw this image on Twitter recently, shared by @teachergoals.
It's good that teachers are held accountable for the learning that takes place in the classroom and that's the point of standardized testing and curriculum, but in our day to day efforts to push forward, are we pushing beyond the speed of the student.
It would be nice to end a unit at different points so that students that can move forward can and those that need more time can spend more time on it, but that's not realistic. Classrooms already have a 1-36 ratio in my state.
I think this problem gets worse as the student moves up into high school. Advanced Placement courses have to teach all the content before the test which usually early May. This means less of the school year to actually teach the content. How is this fair to the students?
Some schools have blended classrooms with technology that allows them to tailor lessons to the particular speed and needs of the student. However, what do all the other schools do?
I love this image because it makes me reflect on my lessons and on teaching on a greater scale. We all have both hares and turtles in our classrooms. It doesn't mean that the hares are better. Sometimes they rush through the work and forget punctuation or key elements in their work. We also have hares that work at a slower pace, but with enough time and encouragement they can get to the finish line.
Image credit: http://wersm.com/social-media-the-tortoise-and-the-hare/
If you have technology available to you, use it to help both the fast and the slow learners. Provide more than one opportunity for success.