Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Don't Be Nervous, They are Just the MOST IMPORTANT Tests You'll Take ALL YEAR!!!

I'm praying that my two older girls won't need some sort of therapy by the time the week is up.

We're talking PSSA's, folks.

The teachers began talking about them in September and for the last few weeks they have been reviewing for them. They really haven't been learning anything new. Just reviewing for the test that can make or break a school district. This is my interpretation of what the teachers have been telling the kids....

Make sure you go to bed early, eat a good breakfast and for the LOVE OF PSSAs, DON'T WORRY! Don't be NERVOUS, but please for the sake of my job security, do the best that you can. In fact, please do better than your best, but for heaven's sake, do not worry, there is nothing to worry about.......

They have come home everyday for the last 2 weeks chanting that "We should not be nervous, but I hope I do well. What if I don't do well? I'm not worried. What are we going to eat for breakfast? Why does it take so long to see our test scores? I'm scared. Even the teachers look scared".

I worry that all the schools are producing are anxious kids who are good test takers (they've been working on Study Island all year, as most of you are familiar with). Yet, there has got to be checks and balances in the school districts. I've learned not to utter the words No Child Left Behind in the presence of anyone who works in a school district. They start to shake and their eyes get all squinty and before long they are off looking for a bottle of Excedrin, mumbling incoherently under their breath.

I'm anxious to see some sort of improvements made to this program to decrease the anxiety level. Maybe surprise testing? One day, a group will show up at a particular school and say, "Ok, let's see what you know!". Seriously, it will be interesting to see if this problem gets better (or worse) with our next president.


Livin' Life said...

I am right there with you about these PSSA's. Shaggy is taking them for the first time this year. Oh, when will they realize these don't make an educational difference and just get the kids all hyped up with anxiety.

Classic MaMa said...

:) Right now, at this exact moment, Scarlett is takign her PSSA's. I just came home from droppign her off at the IU. She is thrilled. WHy? Because I told her that these are no big deal and that she should just do her best and that was good enough.

Funny thing is, when I taught 11th grade (and that's really GO time for the PSSA's) I told them the same thing while I proctored it...and then I gave them candy at the half. Nervous kids don't take tests well and a lot of the time, kids who test well aren't the smart ones.

-from a woman who never tested well.

The Gang's All Here! said...

I am cracking up here - laughing my head off. As usual, you have such a great way to view the world on so many issues.

LadyBug has been home this week with a fever and sinus something. Her first words yesterday were "But mommy, what about PSSA's?" For crying out loud, she's 8! WHATever. I just told her she could make them up. Whenever. That they aren't that big a deal. Seriously. I know, it flies in the face of what her teacher said. But it's true. Do you know, they even had an assembly about PSSA's? Some big clown character came and did skits about how to take them and do your best. Ugh. Give. Me. A. BREAK!

I'm with Classic Mama. I'm smart. I just don't test well. :)

Beautiful Grace said...

Oh My Word!!! :) The surprise testing idea reminds me of when the Department of Health would come into the nursing home to complete the yearly inspection of our facilities. I believe, surprise testing would give a more accurate veiw of what the kids can do, but what if they didn't have a good breakfast that morning. ;)

Oh, and thanks for the encouragement on my post, "God Speaking Through the Generations." You are a blessing to me!!! :)

Maybe I'll see you tonight?!?!

mama2dibs said...

I tagged you for a meme. I thought I would like to get to know you a little bit better. Come on over and check it out and we'll get to know each other.

mama2dibs said...

As a teacher...I HATE STANDARDIZED TESTING!!! It's so stupid. I'm just going to homeschool my kiddos. Of course, I still have to have them monitored some way...and it might be testing because that's the least invasive. Who knows!