At the school I work at, they’ve instituted a really awesome policy before students take the SBAC or any major standardized assessment. They call it “Rest Before the Test,” a day of absolutely no academic work at all, where students can bring their pajamas with them and sit and watch movies in class all day. It’s a great idea, first of all because it’s exceedingly difficult to rest and relax before a huge standardized assessment, but secondly because the students deserve it. They’ve worked so hard in school for so long, and the idea that they can just chill for a bit is perfect.
Right now, I think the science room is watching “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse,” another movie I wish I saw in person that I didn’t get the chance to watch fully. Instead of watching the movie with them downstairs, I’m upstairs writing blog posts and filling time, doing what I can.
When I was in school, we never had a “rest before the test” sort of day. We weren’t even able to relax after the test was done; we just went right back to school as normal, like nothing big had happened. The ultimate irony: acting as if nothing important took place, while also constantly hyping up the importance of said event. It’s a typical double-standard in education, and so I really appreciate how this school works to take care of students’ social-emotional needs. It can be very stressful for people to take standardized tests, especially considering all the times they’ve taken this same test in the past. The SBAC is taken all throughout middle school, and that’s not the only test students take while they’re in middle or lower school too. There’s a test exclusive to ELA students, which was before this one. I just sympathize a lot with these kids.