Okay, so the post title is only a little bit misleading. What I'm pondering this morning is how and what we project into the world.
You see, one of the many "rules" I've just had to sit through during state testing training is this one:
-- You will have a positive attitude about testing.
Maybe I'm just being pedantic, but I disagree. No one can tell me what kind of attitude to have. Especially after sitting through videos that treat me like a delinquent. The training materials seem to believe that it's only their wonderful rules that will prevent me from flat out cheating to ensure my students do well.
Umm... no... how about the fact that I'm an ethical educator and what I really want out of this testing is to see how my students do on their own? (Putting aside, of course, my many professional concerns about the material on the test - which I'm not allowed to even know about even afterward or actually ever look at. Or my concerns about the fact that they really DON'T care what the kids know, or we'd be allowed to tell them if they accidentally skip over several pages. Seriously. Do they want to know if nine year olds can turn pages and check that they answered each question or do they want to know if they KNOW the material?)
I have every confidence in my students. They are well prepared. They know the material we were supposed to teach them - and more. I'm not concerned about how they will perform on the test (though there is always the risk that they will skip a page - it has happened - or misbubble their answers).
ANYWAY.... the real point of this post is to talk about what can be expected of us, and of our students.
No one can tell me what my internal mindset must be. I am fine, however, with a reminder that I should project a calm, reassuring, positive attitude about the testing experience to my students. Not that I need that reminder, of course. I've been doing this teaching thing for a while, you see. I know that my students do their best when the teacher leads with assurance and a smile.
This is what I reinforce with my students. What you project into the world is what the world believes of you. No one can read your mind. All your peers, your parents, and your teachers can see is your actions.
Do you look like you are paying attention in class?
--Maybe you ARE listening, but having your back to the teacher and participating in a whispered side discussion are giving a different message. Be obvious in your classroom behavior. Put your hand up. Ask questions.
Do you look like you care about that child on the playground who just got teased?
--Maybe your heart is breaking, but standing on the sidelines and refusing to step in and stand up just perpetuate the problem. Get involved. A quiet, "that wasn't kind" to the offender or stepping over to the hurting child and inviting them to play shows that you care.
I'm heading into testing today. I will have a smile on my face. I will project confidence and assurance to my students. They will do their very best, and I am already proud of them.
I’m participating in a writing community at Two Writing Teachers. We write about a little "slice of our life" each Tuesday. In March - we attempt to write a slice EVERY day! Head over to their blog for the link up.