DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Students in elementary schools and middle schools across Texas will be taking the STAAR test on Tuesday, and this can come with a lot of stress and anxiety. Those are two emotions that you do not want kids to feel on an important testing day.
Young students are under a lot of pressure to perform well on standardized tests. The goal is to make them feel confident that they can get a passing grade. In some grade levels, that passing score is required for promotion. That is why teachers in many Texas schools work on preparation all year long.
Franklin Middle School history teacher Michael DeLucia likes to give pop quiz questions to his students in the hallway. He will also tutor kids who need help during his lunch break. His advice is to focus on the material, not the test. “You know what your teachers have taught you,” he said. “Just apply what you know, no big stress, and you’ll do just fine.”
But there are some things that parents can do as well to keep children excited — not anxious — as they head out the door.
When kids get up in the morning, make sure that they have a good breakfast. Also, help them gather supplies for the day like a jacket and lunch. Some school districts do not allow any visitors on campuses during testing — even parents. Students should also arrive a little earlier than usual to avoid any possible stress from running late.
Parents also need to manage their own anxiety on testing day, so that it does not rub off on students. “You can’t let them know you’re worried about them,” said instructional coach Leia Altieri. “Focus on the test and not about what happens if I don’t pass this test, because the sun’s still going to come up tomorrow.”
It might even be good for parents to slip encouraging notes in their child’s lunchbag or pocket. Let them know that you too are confident in their ability to pass this stressful test.