Grades and test scores should not be your driver.
This is not why the vast majority of people became educators.
Yet, we still have to pay attention to them. For me to tell you otherwise would be irresponsible. It is easy for someone that is not in the classroom to say this, but it’s not the reality of schools, and I doubt it is going to change any time soon.
But I also use this analogy when we think about teaching and learning.
If you were teaching French, would you prefer your students walked away with an ‘A’ in French, or that they became fluent? If they walk away fluent, they probably are going to get an ‘A’, but I know lots of people who got an ‘A’ in French as students, and can’t speak it to this day. They learned to jump hoops, not necessarily learned French.
The curriculum tells you what to teach, not how to teach it. Do you see yourself as an educator, which is also an artist, an innovator, and a relationship builder (amongst other things)? Understand there are other outside forces that make their way into our classrooms, but know that you have an influence on every student you work with that will last long after your time with them. That’s what great educators do.