Saturday, April 27, 2013

CRCT Testing: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!

When I was a little girl, I loved the movie, Annie. This was before VCRs, so I experienced the movie through the vinyl record that included a picture book of scenes from the film. I used to listen to it over and over again with my Dad's enormous ear phones that engulfed my little pint size head.  My favorite song from the film was, "Tomorrow". I sang it over and over again using the fireplace as my stage. Annie, quite a gutsy character, brought great joy to my imagination. But, most of all, I admired her ability to always focus on the positive despite the trials of everyday life.

Right now, being almost physically and emotionally sick from the stress of the CRCT, it is easy to get a little down. How do dedicated teachers stay focused on their students, realizing that there is a bigger picture beyond the CRCT? How can we feel reassured that we are great teachers despite the CRCT results? How do we keep from comparing ourselves to other teachers within the same school? Yes, as a first year teacher, it is a bit of a worry. I wish I could say that my worries have been put to rest, but most of these questions have been expressed over the last couple of weeks by veteran teachers.

All I can say, is that I am making the personal decision to focus on my students, and not worry about their CRCT test results. When I was a student, testing was just a blimp-a moment in time. As a young girl, I was always excited about testing because I got two free orange juices every morning and it meant I was that much closer to my birthday. I wasn't worried if I would pass or fail. I believe that to survive as teachers, we must stay positive, keep perspective, and be strong for our students. They cannot see or feel the fear that lies within us. Therefore, I have told my students that finishing the test does not mean under any circumstances that we are done with the learning. We will continue to push until the end, for the main purpose of demonstrating to them that learning is not all about a single test! Learning is about discovery, imagination, and stretching our thinking. I look forward to finishing out the year strong, and until the testing season is complete my mantra will be, "The sun will come out, tomorrow!"

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