Coming from an education background, I do understand the need for testing to collect data about our students to drive our instruction. In my brain, I understand this. But, do we really need to put this much stress and pressure on kids to get one snapshot of how well they can perform and prove what they know on one day?
When I picked Casey up from school to go to dance class yesterday afternoon she was already in a panic.
Casey: Mama, will you be mad at me if I fail this test? (Anxious. Tears welling in her eyes.)
Me: Mad? No, Honey, I won't be mad. I would be surprised though. Because you are a good student and you exceeded in all areas on the test last year. But I wouldn't be mad if you failed. And besides, if you fail, you get another chance to take it again. Its really not a big deal.
Casey: But if I fail, I'll be the oldest kid in 2nd grade next year.
Me: Case, they don't hold kids back just because they fail one test. They get held back for a lot of reasons. You have had a great year. You'll be fine.
The conversation continued at dinner. Chris and I spent a lot of time reassuring her that we wouldn't be mad, she wouldn't be held back and that she should just try to do her best.
The anxiousness continued this morning. As I was getting ready she stood outside the door, "Mama. Mama," in a low whisper, on the brink of tears.
Me: What, Casey?
Casey: I don't (gulp) have any (gulp) socks (gulp).
Me: Case, when I moved all of your clothes into the new dresser this weekend, you had plenty of socks. Its only Tuesday. Where are all of your socks?
**March down the hallway into her room, open drawer, pull out 6 pairs of socks*
Me: See. Lots of socks.
Casey: *whiny voice* But they're all shorty socks. They itch my feet and fall down. I can't wear those socks today.
Me: Chandler! Let Sister borrow a pair of your socks! See, problem solved.
A melt down. Over socks. Because of a test.