I've known folks who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD - such a great acronym). Personally, it hasn't been an issue for me, for which I'm grateful during some of our dreary winter days.
Then it hit me. I suffer from Testing Affective Disorder (TAD). I know this isn't in the DSMV but if we're not careful it will make it into a future edition.
Symptoms of TAD:
- Exhaustion but difficulties sleeping
- Crankiness; tendency to overreact to small issues and small children
- Fatigue due to lack of fresh air and sunshine due to indoor recess everyday
- Constant craving for chocolate, complex carbohydrates, and alcohol
- Strong, negative feelings, especially towards Pearson and state policy makers
- Lack of patience with family, traffic, and any emails that say "Urgent!"
- Dreams that consist of #2 pencils and bubbles attacking
- Visceral reaction to rows of seats, such as in churches or auditoriums
- Hearing voices, most notably those of children begging for a break
- Urges to scream as loud as possible because of the need for constant silence
Those sound absurd and mostly they are. But the more I think about it the more convinced I am that the testing season truly does affect many of us significantly.
As a teacher and a parent it hurts me to hear that a few of our fifth graders, who began their reading test at 9:00 am didn't finish it until nearly 5:00 pm. I'm on edge watching so many of my former students as they face these tests. I am pained as I watch teachers try to balance pushing their students to do their very best on the test without making them overly anxious. A really tough line.
I've written before about my frustrations with testing, but the more it happens, the more concerned I get. Testing Affective Disorder is clearly satire. At least, I think it is.
Yes, yes, and sadly...yes.
I used to always wonder in horror at how entire nations could be convinced to commit atrocities against their own people. But as I think about what schools are allowing and participating in in regards to testing, I quickly realize the slippery slope we have been on for a couple of decades. We are now living in a country where teachers - the people whose love for children is only second to the families of these children - are now responsible for carrying out abusive practices that hurt our children and lead to the decay of our nation.
Perhaps my dramatic tone is related to the fact that I teach third graders, the first group that takes our aptly named SOL exams...but I don't think I am wrong...
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