Tuesday, January 22, 2013

training, testing, and security...

Today was my last day of training before the ACCESS testing window opens. The ACCESS test is a yearly test given to all EL's to determine their level of English proficiency. Each child is assessed in 4 areas; reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Some of them can be completed in small groups, others need to be completely independently. I have three weeks to test all my EL's, which means . . .  three weeks of not pulling them for ESOL classes.  
(and three weeks of not going to the bathroom until all my testing materials are locked up)  <

There are a few groups - there is the Kindergarten group - each child tested independently - up to an hour at each seating. 
Then they cluster 1st and 2nd - but within that cluster - there are 3 groups.
The last cluster (that I teach...) is 3rd-5th - with 3 groups in this as well - a,b,c - depending on their level of proficiency. 
The clusters tell you their grade level, but the a, b, or c gives you information about their level of English proficiency. 
Confused yet? 

I'm sad that I won't get to see my kids everyday - but I'm also freaked the heck out STRESSED! 

This test is no where as difficult or has so much depending upon it - like state testing. 
This is a big deal for me - I want to see my kids grow - 
I want to see them speaking better, understanding more, writing in complete sentences and forming complete ideas to write about - and most of all - understand what they are reading! 
So - like any teacher - I want to make sure I taught my kids everything they need to be successful. Sometimes I think testing is more stressful on the teachers and parents, than on the kids.... Anyone else? 
I tend to take their mistakes very personally, feeling as if I've let them down in some way. 
(And I'm seriously tearing up as I write this...) 
Maybe I'm crazy to take it so personally... Am I alone here?