111/365 - Side Effects

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What. A. Day.

Lots of testing.

Lots of books and bubble sheets.

Lots of stressed kids.

Lots of big business for Pearson.

Let me start by saying that Cee and Jay both woke up cool, calm, collected, and ready to tackle their Math STAAR today.

Just before we left, they both asked if I could give them some of my "Be Strong - You Got This" oil. I was more than happy to put some Valor oil on their wrists, neck, and heart, and they both seemed much more at ease than usual after I applied it.

What I didn't realize is that I should have rubbed some of that magic on myself!

(I will do this tomorrow!)

"The Company of the Tests" and "The State Within Which I Live" offered the STAAR Test online this year to a certain demographic of students, and they roughly field tested this approach last year. What they didn't anticipate was that when all of the whole state Within Which I Live was giving this online version at the same time to vast numbers of kids, more servers might be required.

Thus, many kids were kicked out of their testing session for quite awhile today.

Here's what "The Company of the Tests" and the legislature of "The State Within Which I Live" don't realize. Tons of kids have test anxiety. Too much pressure is put on teachers and students to perform well on the test.

Too. Much.

Kids feel the pressure, and teachers feel the pressure, too.

When you put them in a new testing environment and you don't have the server capacity to accommodate them, you're only increasing the level of anxiety.


Or two-hundred-fold, if that's even a word.

It hurts to watch kids stress about a test.

It hurts to watch teachers stress about a test.

It hurts to see that exacerbated by an infrastructure that should be able to support its clients.

After a day like today, I was forced into this aisle of the grocery story...

I'd be lying if I told you I didn't run into a couple of other teachers who perused this aisle. I'd also be lying if I told you we didn't completely communicate through body language when we saw each other, smiled, nodded our heads once, shook our heads twice, and kept going along our merrily way to finish collecting whatever else it was we needed...

...time to prepare ourselves for tomorrow - day 2 for some, day 3 for a few, and day 4 for others.

Don't even get me started on how the playing field has been distorted for our kids who have learning struggles.

And PS, there is not a big enough glass for me tonight.

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