You May Now Begin

Good morning!

Yesterday morning I administered the 5th grade state writing test to a group of our students. It was my first time to take part in state testing as a teacher. These were not my students. It was the first time we’d ever laid eyes on each other. We’d be spending the next three hours together. I was a bit uneasy.

You have to read the directions EXACTLY as they are written. Nothing more.

The test administrator gives the test, and monitors the students. The test proctor monitors the administrator.

I’m a talker. I was concerned I’d accidentally invalidate the test, causing everyone to be disqualified from testing, and me lose my certification over saying something like “You’re doing great! You’re halfway there. Or answering a question in the middle of it that I wasn’t supposed to do. I had nightmares about it!

When the time came, I passed out the two pencils per student and test booklets, and stuck to my script with ease. So far so good. Then I said the magic words,

“You may now begin.”

The pressure was off me. I’d done my part. It was now on them. They had to read and plan and write their essays. As I quietly sat for hours, and monitored them, I noticed just as expected, the boys were all done first. I heard knuckles pop. Chairs swivel. All signs of stress.

I oh, so wanted to help them! Writing! That’s my forte! I could help them fill those five pages in no time! But I couldn’t. I had to just sit there in silence. In agony, as they struggled to put words to their paper.

Tests. There’s no doubt about it. They’re just stressful! And you can’t avoid them. It begins in elementary school all the way through college. State testing for federal funding and ranking, not grades, thank goodness. SATs for college entrance exams.

I’m so glad God does not have a mandatory, standardized entrance exam for us to take when the next phase of our life is before us!

This life is our test. For it we’ll be held accountable. Let’s all make it a good one!

I can’t wait until I enter the gates of heaven, and it’s my turn to hear and not say, “You may now begin.”

Therefore, I will judge you, oh House of Israel, everyone according to his ways. Ezekiel 18:30

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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