Testing… again…


We all know the struggle for testing. It feels like an epic uphill battle every year!

When students return in the fall there are placement tests and diagnostic tests that we complete as a school followed by the first round of NWEA testing. In the winter we take the OLPA in both Math and Reading and many of our language learners take WIDA tests. There is also the mid-year diagnostic test. (As a school we do not take the winter NWEA test.) We then hit cram time where we attempt to make sure all of our students are ready for both the reading, math, and science MCA. We start MCA testing in March continue all the way through April. May hits and it is time for our spring NWEA test followed closely by any final diagnostic test required by the school and any final assessments I choose to give them in the spring…

Was that confusing enough??

It’s confusing to me and it is the reality that I live in. I spend hours and hours testing students trying to keep myself engaged and brain functioning. Some teachers at my school test in their classrooms. However, due to the wifi in my classroom being very spotty, I get to test in the library. This has two advantages for me!

  1. I am not tempted to sit at my desk and correct papers when I should be actively monitoring the room.
  2. I do not have to go through the hassle of taking down all of my posters and math stuff. I also don’t have to worry about covering it with paper.

Testing in a room outside of my classroom has some disadvantages too. My students can’t look around the room and try to remember what had been on the wall in a specific location. They are forced to look around a room that they typically associate with reading and are required to take a math test.

Because I teach at a small charter school, the difference of only a couple of questions could make a large impact for the assessment of the quality of my teaching and my school (by some people’s standards). Testing always puts me on edge and I want everything to run very smoothly!

I was one of those kids that struggled anytime that a testing period did not run smoothly. I remember at least one occasion where something happened at home the morning of a large test and I had to go to school and perform the best that I could on the PSAT. It was nothing my parents or I could control but I know I did not perform to my potential on that test.

I want every child to perform to the best of their abilities because I want success for each of them! They are rockstars in my book! They come to school and they work hard every day to help make sure that they are ready for those standardized tests when they do come. They know what their individual goals are and they know where they should be in order to match up with other 7th and 8th graders across the state and county.

Even though testing days are some of the most stressful days of teaching, they are some of my favorites because I get to see my students practice their flexibility and versatility with the standardized test questions put in front of them! I know that testing is a way of life and it is here to stay, but I hope that I can continue to work with students and help them develop the mental stamina to continue performing well on these assessments.

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