I have spent the last several days administering the Oklahoma state standardized tests for fifth grade writing, fourth grade reading, and fifth grade science. Tomorrow is fourth grade math.
I teach special education, so the students I am administering the tests to have accommodations. That translates to they are in separate locations, in small groups. I can read certain prompts to them. I can repeat and simplify directions.
Each session allows the students about three hours to complete a test that most finish in about an hour.
They are not timed tests. If they do not finish, they get more time in another location.
They must be quiet. Still. While the test is being administered. It is difficult. Especially since many are on behavior plans. Not only for them, but also for me.
We live in an era where multitasking is the norm. We drive and talk on our Bluetooth through our steering wheel speakers. We eat our fast food breakfast as we drive. We put on our make up at stop lights. Not me, of course, but many. Just look around you. All before 8 a.m.
Try sitting still for three hours. No talking. No phone. No internet. No writing. No reading. No emails. No facebook. No Pinterest. No music. No eating or drinking.
We are not good at being still.
I’m at talker. Or a blogger. Or a writer of something…lesson plans, emails, IEPs, texts. Or a teacher searching for new ideas for ways to teach curriculum. I struggle when I can’t be multitasking. I feel as if I’m wasting time. I don’t want to hover over my students while they are testing, and make them feel nervous.
I’ve found the solution.
I use my time, when I’m not reading directions, or monitoring, to follow a favorite scripture. I try to be still, and know that God is God.
I quietly talk to God.
I pray for clarity for my students as they discern the correct answers to their test. I pray thanksgiving for all the blessings God has bestowed upon me. I pray for my friends, my family, my students, my world. I pray for forgiveness for my sin. I pray to God and ask for supplication. For those things I need or want. I pray that God’s will will be done through me.
And suddenly, I find peace. I’m no longer uneasy. I’m still.
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. Psalm 46:10
Love and laughter,