Do Your Best & Stop The Stressfest

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Stop beating yourself up. It’s going to be ok.

It’s May and we’re all realizing that the weeks continue to fly by while we center on the state assessments quickly approaching.

Any good teacher out there doesn’t need reminding. We’ve been thinking about it just as much as anyone is going to tell us it’s important.

We know it’s important.

And to add to the mix of stress, anxiety and tension… people are telling us it’s important.

You know often I wonder if there are central office administrators that envision teachers as arriving and departing daily without a clue that state assessments are in fact important.

Yea, I get it.

Yea, I don’t need reminding.

If this post sounds a bit like I’ve begun to reach the edge. Yes, I’m there to

But just like you, I have to have faith that for these past many months, I have been working toward this very time. The time when students prove what they know. We’ve been at this since early September and all that comes with it – frustration, hope, confusion and joy.

I’ve already told my students that I don’t think that the testing that they’re about to undertake is fair. I also told them that they don’t have a choice.

Perhaps there will be a time when legislatures decide on another form of assessment that doesn’t stress out a third grader. A test that doesn’t keep children from wanting to advance to the third grade because they’re afraid of a test that is over a year away from being given. Is it healthy to worry about a test at the age of 9?

It’s sadly amazing what we’ve managed to do to our children.

This is, however, not something you or I can change as educators. As we were probably reminded in our college courses, we don’t get to decide whether to give the assessment – our job is to give it regardless of what we think.

And I do.

I do my best to encourage my students to do their best. I do my best to prepare them and then also remember that they’re children.

They’re going to have bad days that are illogical to you and I. They are, after all, going to do things that don’t make sense to you or I – nor should it, they’re children after all.

So I’m going to take a big, deep, breath and try to relax having faith that my efforts have not been in vain. Join me.

Here’s to you and I… and the last push toward getting our students prepared for that state assessment.

Is it our focus at the moment? Definitely.

Should it be our focus at the moment? Yes, it should.

Do I wish we could instead focus on what I think matters more? Sure.

I’d rather focus on encouraging my students to be better, kinder and more understanding little people. The kind of student that leaves my class better than they arrived.

Please assessment me on those criteria.

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