Students will go to any length of over-performing or giving up altogether to avoid the crippling judgment of failing a test.
But is that the purpose of a test? To judge a student?
Not at all.
Test scores are just part of the process of learning. They hold no power over the value of a student. Wherever they are in the process, God's great love for them never changes. It's our teachers' job to prepare our students for academic excellence, as well as convey their constant worth in God's eyes.
It's not teacher vs. student. It's teacher ALONGSIDE student.
What if a test at school was like a mechanic turning the key to see if the car will start yet, or if he needs to keep tightening and building the engine? What if a test is a teacher's way of seeing if her lessons have stuck, or if she still needs to keep teaching the lesson?
Teachers at PHCS care about their students. They want them to grow and succeed. They care because our Father in heaven cares.
One young student this year was introduced to spelling tests. Their anxiety felt overwhelming, and they felt doomed to fail, so they began shutting down emotionally and mentally. The teacher caught on to this, and quickly took action. She stayed in communication with the student's parent. She talked with the student during recess and they agreed to do a verbal "pretest" right there on the picnic bench, in a relaxed environment, overlooking the trees and grass. And during the test, she had a teacher's aide sit beside the student, just as moral support. All of this was to support the student, to show that they were loved, by God and by others, so that they felt free to do their very best.
As our children grasp the immeasurable value that Christ gives us, they begin to tell themselves they can try. They're willing to study and take tests. They can try new things, and feel wobbly, and make mistakes without fear. Because test scores are just part of the process. And wherever they are in the process, it never changes His great love for them.
Real academic excellence comes from the foundation of a secure, resilient heart, rooted in Christ. From there, we train our brains and give it all we've got, as if we were learning...as an act of worship to the Lord. "
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all unto the Lord." Colossians 3:17
"Cast all your anxieties (even test anxieties) on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7