This post is a combination of my two regular series Pointers and Tidbits in celebration of testing week. Pointers for Parents and Tidbits for Teachers are regular SHORT inspirations to bring hope and encouragement as we set about educating our children.
It is testing time. The week we have all been dreading all year! Seriously, the pressure of standardized testing is one of the most agreed upon topics in education. It’s all too much. While teachers and parents both understand the need to measure growth of students, none of us agree with HOW we are currently required to measure them. Our cries for relief, or at least some common sense, fall on the deaf ears of those in leadership who make the decisions. Rather than rehash same old arguments and repeat the concerns to be blown away in the wind, I have made a list. There are some not-so-serious tips, and a few poignant pointers for all of us, parents AND teachers, who need to survive the weeks ahead. Happy Testing!
- Haha…just kidding. It is not possible to relax, so do your best to hide your stress. Stuff it if you have to.
- Show your students/children that a picture only shows one moment in time…just like a test.
- On testing weeks, we feed the kids healthy meals in the morning and at lunch, while parents and teachers get candy, cookies, doughnuts as comfort foods. Since you are stuffing your stress, you might as well stuff your mouth, too.
- Discuss what it means to be a good citizen. How to be kind. How to be caring. How to take responsibility and show respect. How to be a community that honors one another. Tell them those things are more important than any test they will ever take.
- The urge to fuss at kids who finish in 2 minutes is strong. Let’s face it, you really want to do much more than just fuss. Those who don’t read, who don’t use scratch paper, or work out any problems, those who use their paper to doodle, who write in incomplete sentences, who cannot type, those who fall asleep. RESIST. Go back to number one…stuff it.
- They are kids. No matter what the powers that be believe, they are just kids who don’t fully understand that all of our futures rest on their performance.
- In private of course. You know how they are doing. You know it is not all good. You know you will be in the office explaining the low scores in defense of yourself, your parenting/teaching, and the quality of the job you are doing. Get all the tears out BEFORE that meeting.
- Chin up. If your child/student doesn’t do well, remember their results are not yours. Don’t let it define you. Or them. It is not an accurate measure of success.
- Every. Single. Day. Of. Testing. It shows everyone the test isn’t so important AND it lets the stress explode out of you in a positive way!! Not to mention it makes the kids think you have gone crazy. They LOVE this idea.
- If you don’t believe in God, this is the week to start. Pray for calm and peace. Knowledge to flow and that no one would throw up during the test.
- If nothing else works get a glass of wine, beer, hard liquor, water, or sweet tea…whatever your taste, drink to testing. Cheers!