I want to share some things that I am truly grateful for as this years testing season descends upon us:
The support that my colleagues give to one another. I am currently teaching 6th grade social studies and reading. This means that my students will take the reading STAAR test next month and currently our 5th graders on campus are taking their STAAR tests today and tomorrow. One of the special things that I love about my job is that I am pared up with a 5th grade teacher we refer to each other as "buddies". So as this time approaches we lift each other up and encourage each others students by having our homeroom students create banners and posters of inspirational sayings and powerful words of motivation. So our posters consisted of sayings like "Rock the STAAR", "Crush the STAAR", "Shoot for the Moon and Land on a STAAR", and many more that my wonderful students created. I wish I would have taken some pictures of all the wonderful posters and banners... maybe I can get some.
A positive approach is a wonderful thing! The administration has taken this approach with the students and staff. We are lifted up by them and in return we lift up or students. Verbal praise is such a small but powerful thing and has such a major impact you see its ripples through the future. My aministration has confidence in its teachers, faith in our students applying themselves with 100% effort.
Calmness is a wonderful thing to establish and set as the atmosphere approaching this time of year for all individuals involved during testing season. If you remain calm then those around you will remain calm, poised, and have the confidence to succeed where, stress, pressure, and anxiety would have the opposite impact.
Some things that the committees, kids, teachers, and administration have done to encourage each other for this time are as follows:
Testing teachers are provided lunch by the adminstration
Testing teachers are given treats/snacks by the adminstration
All teachers are allowed to wear bluejeans
All teachers are allowed to wear spirit shirts, motiviational shirts, collegiate shirts during testing
Small Tokens Placed in Mail Boxes
Posters and Banners made for each other
Motivational T-shirts for all