Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Testing Week At Our House's been a while.  Things have been crazy in our games, EasterFest, spring break, life...I had someone ask me today how in the world we do it with three boys...planning...lots and lots of planning...and when something doesn't go as planned, sometimes there are tears and then you just change your mindset and go.  If I've learned anything in this life, it's that I can't plan everything.

But I write tonight because I'm frustrated.  I'm thinking it was about this time last year when I wrote that I was frustrated...frustrated about this state testing stuff.  How times haven't changed...except I'm a little more frustrated this year because all three of the #s are testing this year.  So testing officially starts tomorrow and these are the conversations that I've had so far...

With my 8th grader...
#1:  I have got to do well on this test so we can have fun the rest of the year.

Me:  They can't stop you from having fun because of the test.

#1:  Yes they can.  They can take away everything because of our scores. 

Me:  No they can't.

#1:  Mom, you don't know.  You've never taught at the junior high.  

Me:  I know they're not going to take the fun stuff they have planned for you for the end of the year because of the score on the test.  

#1:  They also said that this counts and we could be held back.

Me:  They cannot hold you back in the 8th grade because of these tests.

#1:  Yes they can.  It counts now.

Me:  Counts for what?

#1:  If I can go to the 9th grade.

Me:  Seriously...think about this.  You've had good grades all year long.  Do you really think that this test is going to count more than the 10 months of work you've done all year?

#1:  I don't know.  I'm just saying that I've been told that I can be held back.

Me:  Listen.  To.  Me.  We do not get these test scores until October.  There is no way they will pull you out of the 9th grade and put you back in the 8th grade because of these test scores.  No.  Way.  You would have already had nine weeks of your 9th grade year. Stop worrying about this test.
#1:  THEN WHY DO THEY KEEP SAYING THESE THINGS?!?!?!?!  I'm freaking out about it!

Me:  Because there are children that won't do the best they can if they aren't told it counts towards something.  You are not one of those children.  You are going to 9th grade next year.  The.  End.  

With my 4th grader...
#2:  I'm ready for KPREP.

Me:  Great!  I'm glad you're ready. 

#2:  Teacher said we will get plenty of recess time after the tests because we have to sit for so long.  

Me:  So really you're excited about recess?!?!?

#2:  Yes...and reading my book.  After I complete the test AND check over my work, I get to read.  I mean, what a day...I'm going to love these five days.  

#1:  You know what I get to do after my test?  I HAVE TO CHECK IT OVER AND OVER UNTIL THE TEST IS FINISHED.  

#2:  Stop freaking out about this.  It's not going to change your life.  

#2:  The teachers are telling us to make sure we eat a good breakfast.  I'm thinking pancakes and bacon tomorrow.

Me:  That's not what you eat every morning and your grades are good.  I wouldn't want to jinx you taking the test by giving you a pancake and bacon breakfast when your body isn't used to it.  What if your body eats that and is like "whoa, I'm tired" and you sleep through the test?

#2:  Interesting...but my body is saying pancakes and bacon tomorrow would be great. 

Me:  And I'm saying, eat your cereal tomorrow and you'll be fine.  

With my 3rd grader...first year tester...
#3:  I'm only taking one pencil to my KPREP test.  

Me:  Why?

#3:  Because if it breaks, then I am finished with my test.

Me:  They have more pencils. 

#3:  Nope...I need latex free pencils so I don't hurt my one pencil is all I'm taking. 

Me:  Nice try.  

#3:  What if I forget my ball?

Me:  Then Teacher will go get it for you.

#3:  What if I forget my gum? 

Me:  Then Teacher will get some for you.

#3:  What if I forget my "break card" and the teacher doesn't know I can take breaks?

Me:  Ms. C is going to take care of you and make sure you have everything for your tests.  You've got to stop worrying about this.

#3:  What if I forget an answer to a question?  Or what if I do bad?

Me:  This test is just for you to do the best that you can.  If you forget an answer, you'll find the best one.  And there's no bad...unless you don't try.  You are going to try, so you'll do great. 

#3:  But the grade...

Me:  The grade doesn't count.

#3:  Yes it does...why would they have novice, distinguish, and proficient if it didn't count.  You get certificates if you do good on the test and nothing if you do bad.  What if I do bad Mommy?  Will people still like me if I'm not as smart as my brothers or my friends?

Me:  (tears in my eyes) Honey, you are going to do the best you can.  I already know how smart you are.  Your teachers already know how smart you are.  Your brothers already know how smart you are.  These scores don't matter to us at all.  I promise. 

I'm sure some people will be quite surprised about how crazy it is in our house around this testing time.  And now I'm off to get a little eight year old in his own bed because he fell asleep while crying in my bed about this test tomorrow...we will be dancing for joy next Wednesday when this testing is over for this year in Our Life By Numbers!

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