Monday, April 27, 2015

Manic Monday

This is the Monday to end all Manic Mondays, because it is the beginning of - state testing.  Arrrrrgh!!  I know my kiddos are ready.  We've worked harder than ever, and they have grown so much over this year.  But, the pressure is still there.  Anyone else with me?

The debate over testing isn't new, and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  I believe it's an important conversation to have, and I believe educators should be passionate advocates for what's best for our students.  But, right here and right now - we're facing down The Test.

So here's my plan.  Tomorrow morning I'll get up and probably want to throw up.  I'll get to school, exchange knowing glances with my teaching friends, greet my kiddos, listen to the national anthem and recite the pledge.  We'll take some time to review - one LAST time - get watered and bathroomed, and welcome our proctor.

Then, right before I go to get the tests, I'm going to look every one of my students in the eye and tell them how much I love them.  And how proud I am of how they've grown this year.  And remind them that nothing could ever change that.  Because they are people.  Not numbers, not test scores, not percentages, but real, honest-to-goodness, human people with feelings and fears and hopes and dreams and anxieties.  I wish you could see how they congratulate each other when someone masters something they've been working on for a long time.  Or how they oh so patiently coach each other when someone's struggling.  How they just KNOW who needs a little help, who needs a kind word or smile.  There are times when I just stand there in awe of who they are, hoping to one day be the kind of person they are today.  So tomorrow I'll distribute hugs and high fives, and remind them that today is like any other day.  We're going to close our door, get to work, do our best, and know that no matter what happens, we are US, in this together.

To all those testing - hugs!!

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