Tuesday, April 23, 2013

High Stakes

Today begins the week of STAAR testing for my students.  My 7th graders test today and tomorrow. My 8th graders tomorrow and Thursday.  We have worked all year for these days.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Teachers, including myself, may say they aren't teaching to the test, but it's kind of hard not to when this is how your students' learning will be measured, your teaching will be measured, and your school will be measured.  A lot rides on these next three days...our students' future classes, grade levels, and our school's status with the state as a quality institution of learning.

Students, if you think you are the only ones nervous about today, you are mistaken.  Your teachers have worked hard to prepare you and we want you to feel confident in your abilities.  We know you are ready; like nervous parents, we wish we could do it with you so you aren't alone.

We also have our own pressures today.  What if someone keeps their cell phone and doesn't tell us?  What if someone draws a picture of the questions after the test?  What if someone bleeds or vomits on the test?  What if there is a tornado today?  What if I don't read the directions correctly?  What if I don't return the tests in alphabetical order by number?  What if someone walks by and catches me sneaking a look at Facebook or email?  (hehe)

We will be victorious in these next three days.  I work with some amazing students, teachers and administrators.  But if you think we haven't had nightmares leading up to this, you are sadly mistaken.  If you think STAAR testing doesn't scar kids and teachers a little bit more every year, think again.

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