Monday, May 9, 2011

It's That Time of Year

The teacher passed out the bubble answer sheets first.  The chatter that had only moments ago filled the room had been replaced by the building tension, shuffling of feet and shifting in seats.  Next came the test booklet; sealed of course.  The tension was growing thicker and thicker.  Even the clock seemed to tick louder.  Pencils were within centimeters of being grabbed as instructions were given.  Hearts pounded.  Sweat beaded.  Breathing became shallow.  And then, "Begin."

Standardized testing and reporting; or STAR begins today.  In VA, it was called "Standards of Learning" or for short, SOL.  Well when I was a kid, SOL stood for something else entirely and it was something you did not want to be. 

Ever since she has been in school, Kristin has stressed almost to the point of panic attacks over these tests.  She says teachers put a lot of pressure on the kids.  I think that may be only slightly true.  I say slightly because  young people interpret things so differently than we do.  "Do your very best!" they might also say,  "Try as hard as you can."  

This is a rough time for students and teachers alike.  The teachers have enough on their plate as they tie all the loose ends of the school year that once again has breezed past us.  They also are cheering the kids on to do their very best on these tests.  The kids in turn feel more pressure.  It's a vicious cycle.  I have seen kids become physically ill over this.  Let me clarify, I do not blame teachers for this.  We all create our own stress levels.  In fact, teachers themselves are just as stressed, if not more than our kids.  So the question is, who is this time of year hardest on:  the kids, the teachers or the parents? 

I wish all your school age kids good luck during their testing.  Maybe a post testing celebration is in order!

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9 comments:

Emmy said...

Lucas seemed to have no clue there was testing this week. Growing up in Illiniois we took the CAT- the California Achievment Test- yes in Illinois- strange.

MiMi said...

We always took the CTBS tests...I wonder if it's the same thing.

Christina Lee said...

Ughh, hated this time when I taught.

Linda Medrano said...

Testing is stressful. But it's a fact of life. Go look for a job, and you have to pass a test in a lot of cases. I'm always glad when this part is over!

Nicole said...

We took those here in Missouri, they went from the MMAT to the MAP tests. It sucked because now the teachers teach to the test. I do believe there is a lot of pressure put on the students to do well, especially if teachers teach to the test vs teaching for the knowledge of learning...

blueviolet said...

It sure seems late in the year to do this. Aren't little brains pretty much done for at this point?

Cheeseboy said...

Teachers do sometimes put too much pressure on the kids, but that is only because SO MUCH pressure is being put on the teachers. Stupid tests anyway and it's not right.

Shell said...

I hate these tests. Ours are EOGs(end of grade).

Mrs Montoya said...

Boo! Testing is no fun for anyone. Good luck to Kristin!