Tuesday, April 3, 2007

This is only a test...

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be"- she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Elwood P. Dowd (as played by Jimmy Stewart in “Harvey”)

We just got back our PASS test results. Now, no matter how many times I tell the kids "This is a tool. The only purpose of a test is to figure out what you remember and where we need to focus some attention," I always find myself breathing a sigh of relief that they have done well and I am doing a good job.

But then there are the times when the test results aren't so good. Like the year I tested Marina on the wrong level in math and her scores plummeted. Or like this year, when I worked so hard to bring up Chase's reading and language skills and his math scores dropped. Oy! Sometimes I feel there is only so much room in a child's head and trying to overfill it just causes them to dump something else out. How else can I explain the sudden loss of the ability to simplify fractions or read a graph, skills we've been working on for over two years? I have to admit a certain fear that he's inherited my stress-induced temporary amnesia, even though you couldn't ask for a less stressful test environment than what I give him.

But of course, it is only a test. We'll review these concepts again. I have faith in his ability to learn this. And at least I know he's pleasant.

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