Today’s challenge was “One Thing You Did Today That Will Impact Someone’s Tomorrow”.
Today I allowed my kids to talk freely about their frustrations with the STAAR test they took yesterday. I told them to refrain from discussing exact questions/prompts, even though a quick search of the hashtag #STAAR yields tons of pretty funny examples.
Instead, they focused on how confused they felt for different questions that they all swore up and down had more than one correct answer. They also talked about how the writing prompt felt like something an elementary student would write about and made them feel almost belittled. I know it had to do with dreaming big, because one kid said he wrote about his dream to graduate even though this STAAR test might keep him from doing that.
Overall, they felt they did okay but are still pretty worried about what score they will get.
I let them know that we probably will not get the scores until the last week of school, and that I won’t be able to see what they wrote for their essays, so there’s no reason to worry about how they did. I also told them that I don’t care what the scores are because it doesn’t reflect everything else we’ve been doing all year (writing, reading self-selected books, having great discussions about real world issues and books) or what we will do in the last two months of school.
I let them know that I care more about how their “This I Believe” essays turn out, because it’s something that we’ve been writing since the second week of school, and I’ve watched them grow since then. I care more about what they decide to research for their “Passion Project”, in which they must discuss their their community, their future, and how they can positively impact both. I care more about if they know how to represent themselves in a cover letter and realize they should start considering what qualifications they can list on a resume.
I just hope they believe what I said and feel better if they are worried about how they did, because this test will have no impact on how I view their ability to read, write, or learn. I hope they remember today when the scores do come in.