Combined, our boys have survived 21 days of STAAR tests. That's a lot of hearty breakfasts and prayers. Here's how I cope.
First of all, I'm praying for the teachers. The teachers are worn out. They have carried these kids through a long year of teaching. And by teaching I mean teaching them content to prepare them for the next grade level, teaching them content for the stuupid STAAR, teaching them how to take the stuupid STAAR, dealing with discipline issues, providing missing pencils and papers, dealing with parents, dealing with administration... I could go on and on. Many of them also have their own children who are as stressed out as our kids are.
They're juggling all of that.
Not to mention, at this point it might be more appropriate to call them volunteers. If they kept track of all their expenses related to teaching and hours they work each day my guess is that they'd make about $.31 a day.
Would you teach for that much money?
If we don't pray for them, celebrate them, thank them, cheer for them, appreciate them... who will?? And if we don't do that they're going to burn out. Quit. And then we will all have to homeschool.
PLEASE LORD NO.
If that doesn't stir your heart to pray for them, I don't know what will.
The teacher/volunteer role during the stuupid STAAR is something called "Active Monitoring." They have to walk around the class during the test (often for 4 hours at a time) and make sure kids are bubbling in their answers correctly. They can't look at the content. Just the bubbles. It's nuts. And, they can only sit down "briefly." If they get caught sitting down more than twice they get "in trouble." In the words of my coach/teacher husband, "It's a total beat down." They've prepared the kids for this test and now they have to walk around in SILENCE and watch them color in some bubbles. I could go on.
The teachers are the real SUPERSTAARS, here. And they need our prayers.
Second, I'm obviously praying for the kids. And I'm not just praying that they pass the stuupid STAAR test.
I'm praying that they understand that life is full of stupid tests.
It's not always about passing. We can learn so many lessons about being prepared, showing up, and doing your best. They can succeed if we give them that perspective. Those are things within their control.
Passing is just a bonus.
Finally, I choose to see it as an opportunity to connect with my kids. One of my favorite things to do is to celebrate them in small ways. They look forward to cookie cake the night of their test that says "STUUPID STAAR". That's always a fun phone call to the bakery. The $12 cookie cake connects me with my kiddos. It's a fun family joke that makes them feel supported and celebrated. We can't lose if that's our goal, mamas.
The way I see it, there are life lessons here that we can all glean from. I agree that the test is stupid. Obviously. But until we see the change we all want, we can make the most of what we have to work with. We aren't victims of this test. We are victors in Christ who take every opportunity to do good.