Saturday, March 29, 2014

Keep Calm and STAAR on!


So if you are like me, in Texas, this coming up week is a pretty big one. Especially if you teach 5th grade.

Remember, you have taught allllll year long. Don't stress. Trust your students.

If your students are particularly low and still struggling, remember, one of the indicators is GROWTH. Trust your students.

You have taught more than lessons. You have made students smile, show their work, and prove their work. You have made them defend answers, find evidence, and when in doubt, "work it out!"

This week go easy on yourself.

Trust your students.

Come what may, you did your very best. Be proud. Be proud of more than test scores. Be proud of the students who will persevere through a 4 hour test that some adults find difficult. Be proud of the students who work, prove their work and remember that lesson that you brought to life.

At my last school, our administrators made us all have heart attacks.

"Your job is in jeopardy!"
"You can go to jail!"

When it came to testing day, I was so afraid. I was stressed. So many teachers lived in real fear. After a couple of years, I found a way to not stress and actually relax. I looked at the situation through facts. Did I teach? Yes. Did I intervene? Yes. Did my students show progress? Yes. Even with extreme academic holes, I could predict who would pass and who would fail. Why? Because I knew my students. And if you closed the gap in their academic lives, that is cause for celebration.

Factors I couldn't control: extreme absences, extreme tardies (showing up at 10am), extreme behavior problems admin NEVER helped with or showed a blind eye, or
worse: rewarded the behavioral problems.

Look at what you can control. Stack it up with the factors of the things you have NO CONTROL over. And be reasonable. Don't beat yourself up. Don't stress. The students feel it. The students will react. Why? Because they know you.

So trust your students. Trust that they will do their very best.

Why? Because that's what you taught them. To do their very best.

No comments: