Assessments...it's the buzz word of the day.
We have our state assessments coming up, luckily we moved them back after having Snowmaggedon 2011, so we had more time to prepare. In a lot of ways, I feel like they are ready. And I am excited to see how they do. I know for a fact that my students know those root words, prefixes and suffixes backwards and forwards.
However that doesn't prevent me from being slightly nervous. I feel the pressure of my students doing well on assessments so much that I am losing sleep and just plain exhausted all day long. In talking with my students the other day about the tests coming up, I wanted to make sure that I communicated the importance of them, but not to stress too much.
Perhaps, I am need to hear that as well! But this is what happened during that conversation.
"Will you be mad at us if we fail?" -Student
"No, I won't be mad at you, I might be frustrated with myself that I didn't teach you want you needed to know to pass." -me
"Why would you be frustrated at yourself, it's not your fault if we fail. We probably just didn't pay attention in class, or do our homework, like you wanted us to." -other student (the rest of the class pretty much agreed with this statement)
They are right about one thing, there are lots of things that go on with my students that aren't my fault. There are a lot of factors that go into these state assessments that I have no control over. Once they begin these tests, it is out of my hands. I can't control whether a student is distracted by what is going on at home, what just happened in the hallway, the bad grade the received in another class, the fight their parents had the night before, or the cute girl/guy that is sitting next to them.
But up until that point when they start the test, I can work as hard as I can, plan as much as I can, and teach as well as I can so they can be prepared to do their best! I can control what I do for them on a daily basis to prepared them, and as well teach them that life isn't just about an assessment but about learning how to work hard and learning as much as they can everyday so as to prepare them for whatever they want to do in the future.