Friday, April 21, 2023

Too Much Stress For State Testing In Elementary School Kids

When I was in school we took some bubble tests. Granted it was in the 70s but I don't remember a lot of talk about it in class. The teachers just placed a test in front of you and you were told to fill in the circles with a number 2 pencil. You had to remain quiet if you finished for the others taking the test and that was it! It was over and no one spoke about it. There was not talk about "OMG I am so nervous about this test" or "it took me the full 2 hours to finish the test". 

Fast forward to 2023 when kids who spent two years of their short lives dealing with lockdowns, not seeing friends and family, covid and getting back up to speed from all the lost time in their very short lives.   I spent the past two mornings hearing about how stressed the 3rd graders in my before care class are. They are quiet, squeezing stress balls and talking about how stressed and nervous they are. Why?! Why are 8-9 year olds stressed about tests? Why is there so much emphasis put on these standardized tests that are truly for holding the teachers accountable? The kids should have no stress. They should be told to do their best. Just plop the test down. It's a test like all others. 

I spent the past two mornings letting these kids who should honestly be playing outside and running around in the sunshine, playing board games, puzzles, reading, playing with friends or whatever it is kids need to do telling them that they will do fine and just do their best which is what my teachers use to say in the 70s.  The kids of today have so much to deal with so putting so much weight on these tests is really unfair and unhealthy. They have years and years to be stressed about school and tests. Is 3rd grade really when we should be stressing them out?

Photo by Katerina Holmes:

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