Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stress & Testing

The public schools have had their annual tests over the last couple of weeks.  I remember taking the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills when I was in elementary school, and while there was some emphasis placed on getting a good night's sleep and eating breakfast and all that rigamarole, I don't think it quite had the same impact that it has today, and I certainly don't remember actually giving a rat's hindquarters about it.

To be fair, I test well.  I could usually 'get' what test-takers are after, and I like to think I was pretty good at weeding out crappy answers.  Thus, I always scored in the 99th percentile in everything.  I'm not saying that to brag; I don't consider myself any smarter than a lot of other people who don't test well.  I just could work that particular system.

On Monday I hauled Doodlebug and Boo in for testing at the public school administration building.  Doodlebug worked with a school psychologist for his part, since his testing was more extensive; Boo was supposed to have taken hers separately.  However, the woman who had her tests had gotten stuck in a meeting and her office, understandably, was locked.  So we had to reschedule.  It worked out well in the end because after 2.5 hours, Doodlebug still wasn't finished, so we set up a time for the kids to come in today (Thursday) so they could both be done at the same time.

Today, back we went.  Now, before we went in on Monday, I had told the kids several things:
1.  You will not know everything.  They are going to ask you questions that they know are beyond your level just to see if you can do them or can figure them out.  Skip them.  It's okay to say, "I don't know."
2.  You are smart.  I know this.  They will see this.  Don't worry.
3.  If you need help, ask.  Nobody is going to get you in trouble for asking for help.

Doodlebug, of course, didn't have any issues since he was working face-to-face with someone for most of his tests.  Boo, however, was largely on her own, and I guess she had somehow expected the math questions to be just like what she was used to on her math worksheets here at home, and she got really upset initially.  The psychologist got her straightened out - he did a few questions with her orally to get her jump-started and then she was all right - and then she said the reading and spelling questions were easy.

So it's done, and now we wait.  Both kids are completely brain-fried, and I don't blame them.  It took Doodlebug almost two hours again today to complete his stuff, and Boo took nearly two hours herself.  That's a lot of brainpower being used, especially after doing some school today.  It's interesting to see how they're handling their stress.  Doodlebug is parked in front of the Wii; Boo has taken the dog for a walk and is now running around outside hooting and singing at the top of her lungs.

No matter how they do - and I suspect they both did just fine - I am proud of them.  I know they're progressing and have the capability to learn.  I know they did their best.  I'm anxious because I'm a mom and that's what us mom types do.  I know that if they did poorly (which, again, I doubt) it will be a reflection on me to some extent, but at the same time I know that if they did well, I'm just as likely to turn around and say that they did well because they're really smart kids who can absorb things easily (which is also true).  And I'm not good at waiting.

Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend, and if you celebrate Easter, have a good one!

1 comment:

farmwifetwo said...

Our standardized tests come with the school numbers on it as well.

Sometimes that's even more frightening. Not that my kid did poorly... but he has issues... it's how poorly those that did not have issues did.

People like to say "it's the mentally disabled kids that lower the grades"... No, it is not. My youngest, and others like him, are exempted from the testing.

Sorry... here, the marks are truly that bad.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/19/eqao-math-scores-dropping-between-grades-3-and-6-for-significant-number-of-ontario-students-study/