As we enter one of the most stressful weeks of the school year it’s is so important for us to believe in ourselves.
As my daughter approached the stairs tonight I could tell she was bothered by something. Tomorrow she will take the mandatory state test for the first time and she is very nervous. I reminded her to simply do her best and that whatever the outcome we are proud of her. I know soon life will never be the same for her. Her scores will be analyzed to death. Academic groupings, social opportunities, and assumptions will be made based on the two days of testing. She is upset that her classroom walls have to be covered. She won’t be able to use the anchor charts that hang as reminders around her room. All so she can answer 60 questions over a 2 day period.
As a principal I decided this year not to teach to the test. Learning is much more than answering multiple choice questions. Engaging in thought is much more than answering a open response question. Great teaching inspires students to become better. To search for answers and think of possibilities for questions is the essence of education.
Tomorrow my oldest daughter will take her first step into state testing. I can tell you she is a wonderful reader. Her writing ability to develop stories, poems, and all sorts of scenarios excites me to read them. She is a wonderful person. She woke up this Saturday at 4:45 to help me get ready and open the school 45 minutes from our house for a pancake breakfast to benefit members of our community. She is far kinder than I have ever thought of being. She loves without asking for anything in return. She has an amazing imagination and her hopes and dreams are very large. She is a thinker….and 2 days of test results will not tell me all of that. Sleep tight Rosie we are so incredibly proud of you.