Yes, friends, the testing season is right around the corner. As a first year teacher, it seems that there are a lot of corners, which once you make the turn, another test awaits. The big writing test awaits 4th, 8th and 10th graders in my state of Florida this week. Other grades get to practice this test. How many students will struggle this year? Perhaps, because there are a lot of testing days, more will struggle than might otherwise.
I remember high school when we had "Mid-Years" and "Finals" to prepare for. In between, was instruction, instruction, instruction. Are we headed back in that direction with end of year subject area exams due to replace current testing? Certainly, a test at the end of the academic year makes more sense than one that is administered 3/4 of the way through the year. I wonder, however, if it will simply allow for more "How are you doing so far?" intermediary testing.
The few weeks that stand between the writing test and the math/science/reading tests will be stress-filled for some students. For others, the lure of truancy is too much to overcome. The students that do well in testing may actually look forward to the challenge. For teachers? I hope that teaching the students HOW to think will be a bridge to success.
Planning for the next few weeks presents its own set of challenges. What should the focal points be? Can the students rise up to meet their own expectations? Or will they exceed them. More than anything else, I have tried to be an encourager, a believer, and a catalyst to their individual successes. It has been a big transition from the business world to the education world, but one that I am rather enjoying.