Written by Lucy Blair, AmeriCorps Member serving at Celerity Dalton School
From April 11 until May 5, Louisiana Elementary schools will be testing for hours each day. Then in every moment that students are not testing they will be test prepping, the usual daily schedule no longer exists. All you can do as an AmeriCorp Member is sit patiently and encourage your students after weeks of strenuous effort done by your fifth graders.
Here are some small ways you can help encourage your students after their brains are fried from testing:
In Louisiana, anyone who is not the teacher cannot be in the classroom during testing, you then have a few hours to prepare notes for your students. These notes could just be little doodles of elephants giving thumbs up or written affirmations praising them for their hard work. If they see you believing in them they will too. You can easily motivate them to do well with candy and puns, and then during your time with them you can stop everything to play Just Dance for a three minute brain break.
The best thing you can do is give them a rest. There is so much pressure put on them by their teachers and principals that you can tell that these ten year olds are so frazzled that they’re constantly on verge of tears. During these testing weeks they stop being children and become stressed out robots, the best thing you can give them is a safe zone to where they just can be kids and unravel for a few minutes.