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The Calm Before the Testing

Since about January, I have purposely made it my mission to create boundaries around myself to allow myself down time to relax from the stress that accompanies my teaching career.

This new habit of mine was especially important this weekend…the calm before the storm of testing that will follow in the next four days.

Friday evening, the Mr. and I went to a restaurant that has a lovely view of the water.  It was a good way to begin the weekend…especially after a day in which I’d felt unusually overwhelmed with last-minute mandates I rushed through in my desire to prepare my students adequately.

I was so exhausted, I went to bed at 9:30…a very early evening if you know my night-owl tendencies.

Saturday was all about reading, getting a pedicure, and watching Furious 7 with my guys.

The sequel to Stuck in Neutral, which I read aloud to my students. I’ll begin reading this book to one of my classes next Monday.

I spent today (Sunday) attending church in the morning, eating lunch with friends, and then relaxing the rest of the afternoon at home.

I made it my mission to carve out a day of calm, relishing in God’s splendor, displayed in my Knock-Out Roses (forgive my lack of pine straw…we will be adding some soon).

The unopened blooms reminded me of my students’ untapped potential…potential that I pray reveals itself during the next four days of testing they will endure.

I took a few minutes to pack up goodies I’d purchased on Saturday at Sam’s Club.  I’ll pass these out to the hundred students who will test in my room.

After a fairly short nap and leftovers, I settled in for an evening of television.  Once Upon a Time, Secrets and Lies, and American Odyssey were my shows of choice with A.D. The Bible Continues and Wolf Hall being recorded.  I’ll probably have to watch one of them tomorrow night.  I don’t dare burn the midnight oil tonight with the huge responsibilities I have this week.

If you’re not a teacher, dating one, or married to one, I doubt that you can fully appreciate the stress that we endure each year during pivotal test days.

We wonder if we’ve done enough.  There’s always one more thing we could tell our kids.

We worry that our kids will properly care for themselves physically and mentally (i.e. eat and sleep).  For the kids who suffer from test anxiety, the worry is tripled.

We whisper prayers that the lessons we taught the eight months will have stuck…that our kiddos will remember how to distinguish between a theme and a main idea…that they will understand what it means to summarize objectively a passage given, should they be asked to do so.

Is it any wonder that teachers crave calm and quiet?

Please pray for Florida middle and high school students as they take the new FSA reading exam this week.

It is so different from the FCAT they’ve been used to.

They have not had time to adjust (the State should have allowed students to grow up with the test, but I digress).

Students and teachers have no idea how the tests will be scored or when they will receive results.

Calm is a word all of us need right now…the calm that only God’s presence can bring.

Thanks, friends!!

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