Thursday, April 9, 2009

Testing Season

I love Spring.  It is my absolute favorite season.  The new growth around us, the warm weather, the thunderstorms, all tell us that Spring is here. 

There is another side of Spring, that drives me insane!  Spring also means it is TAKS testing time. If I have to look at another TAKS passage, I think I am going to flip!  

Tonight, as I was eating dinner with a friend, a young boy and his father walked in.  The boy looked to be in the 3rd or fourth grade.  They sat down next to us.  The restaurant was small and the tables were extremely close together.  You could hear EVERYTHING the table next to you said.  As my friend and I were talking I looked over at the boy and could tell by the look on his face that he felt strongly about what he was saying.  

As I eavesdropped, I heard him talking about the TAKS test. He goes on and on about how he just isn't good on TAKS, that this is all or nothing, and that if he fails it again he is going to have to go to summer school and he can't imagine having to do that.  I hear him say ... "Dad, you and mom both know that I am not a good test taker."  

It absolutely broke my heart.  I wanted with all my heart to run about to him and say.... honey, you have to take this test because law makers tell us we have to give it, but please don't judge how good you are or not based on a test.  It took all I had to not run up to him and say this and give him a hug.  I knew if I did that I would not only would embarrass the heck out of my friend, but would also freak him and his dad out.  The tears in his eyes were real.  They spoke volumes.
Just today, I had an 8th grade student come up to me and say.... "Mrs. Dunlap, why do so many people care about how we do on the TAKS test?  I know the answer.... it is because they want to beat the other schools."  I just sat there dumbfounded.......  I didn't have a response.

My heart hurts.  The stress these kids are feeling is more than we know.

1 comment:

Beth said...

We start and finish ours next week...math one day, reading the next! My students are super stressed! This is Junior High...our elementary start next week also but theirs are stretched out over 2 weeks... I so can't wait for it all to be over!

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