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August 29, 2012

Quit Taking It Personally - State Testing Results

I've been depressed.

You see, today I saw how my class did last year on State Testing.  I went into State Testing knowing that I did everything in my power to help the students get it.  We learned that material until we were blue in the face.  I taught intervention after school all year long.  I sent home tons of resources, and I had as many small groups as I could have had.  I utilized parent helpers and my wonderful push in ELL aide.  The year before I busted my tail doing the same types of things and the results were fantastic.  Last year's group did not have the same results.  

At all.

So I've been reflecting on what happened.  I looked at the results and sorted the different proficiency levels so I could see the different students.  I saw that the kids that struggled all year still struggled on the test.  That wasn't a surprise.  The kids that did a great job all year did a great job - Advanced level - not just proficient but Advanced!  Then there were the kids that school wasn't super hard, but it wasn't easy either.  Some days the light bulb stayed on all day, and other days it flickered - it really depended on the mood of the child...  I mean some were 2 points away from proficiency.  That stinks... so close...

I know every year has it's own challenges.  I know that I did my best.  I also know that I provided all the same resources both years for families to continue to work with their children at home.  I also know that as a class, last year they didn't do those "extras" like the year before.  It was like pulling teeth at times.  Some of the kids didn't have the same support system working for them, and they didn't believe in themselves either.

So after being sad this afternoon about the scores, I looked at my own child's first State Testing results.  It makes me so proud to be able to say that my child scored Advanced on his assessments.  Yes, I know I'm bragging.  I'm so proud of him.  

It makes such a big difference having families work with their children at home.  Every year I try to emphasize that to my families.  Not that everyone always listens, but I try.  That the intermediate elementary aged student, even though they are older, they still need the same support that they did back when they were just starting to learn to read, write, and compute.  

The other day on my Therapeutic Thursday post, Wii Fit and a Bet wrote me a comment.  She mentioned a friend had handed her an actual QTIP and reminded her to: 

I love that.  It has gone through my brain over and over the past week.  I can't take this personally.  I know that I did my best.  I have seen first hand the power of supportive families.  I know what my students struggled with last year and I know that I worked my tail off (just like I did the years before.)  I want to encourage you to not take it personally if something doesn't go the way you imagine - even if you did everything right. 

Hope you are having a good day! 


  1. Thanks for the QTIP - what a great reminder! So much (too much!) emphasis is put on those results sometimes and there is only so much a teacher can do in the short time we have them every day. You did your best & what was best for children. That's all you can do! And congrats on your son's scores - you're right - support is key! :)


    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I spoke with other teachers and at least we all faired the same.

  2. I can relate. After my first year teaching, I received my test results and was very disappointed. I felt like I tried my best, but even my students who performed advanced on all district tests and class tests did not do as well as I had hoped. It sounds like you did everything you could and you worked hard for your students. Don't let this one assessment bring you down. I learn what I can do differently after analyzing the results of each section of the test and each year the scores improve. It may help to even talk with your grade level team and work together to come up with resources to help your students improve for next year. Chances are their students struggled in the same areas. Just remember that you are a great teacher and don't let those scores make you feel differently!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

    1. That was exactly the issue - they worked so hard all year long - they passed the district tests with flying colors, and we reviewed everything again right before. I did go back and look at the individual students again and compared their scores to what they scored the year prior and my kiddos did get better. Then if I took out the kids that were apathetic and didn't even try, or bounced off the walls all year because of lack of focus/control - then my scores when way up.

  3. It is sad the pressure we feel from a state assessment. I was overall very happy with my results, but there were a few that missed proficient by just a few points. It is so frustrating because we truly know their achievement levels and a state assessment doesn't always represented it. We've all been then when we expected higher scores and were disappointed.

    I needed your QTIP today! In my new position as an instructional coast, I sometimes take the teachers' reactions personally. Just leaving the classroom, I know how stressful this time of year is and need remind myself of that. Thanks for posting that. Perfect timing. :)


  4. I am not a school teacher and have never been one, was never given the opportunity to go to college. I admire your caring and compassion. I think it might be more difficult in today's classrooms then it was when I went to school. Not only are the classes larger now but there seems to be so much pressure put on you teachers. Sometimes I blame it on modern technology, and statistics. In our county, there are 29 foreign languages represented and the teachers have to spend so much time with immigrants that sometimes I think the students that come from American born parents are slighted, not intentionally though. I have nothing against immigrants, please understand that. A lot of the immigrant parents continue to speak their language in front of the children at home all the time, and then the teacher is trying to teach them the English's a constant struggle for teachers..This situation tends to confuse the young child. My hats off to all of you dedicated teachers! My last grandchild will be in 11th grade next Sept. and it is amazing what she knows and what she doesn't know that we were taught and use everyday. My first grandchild graduates from college on Friday and we're so proud of her. Hoping she can find a real job now. She's been working part time, and going to college all along.


I hope this was able to help you in some way. I love comments and I like to reply via email. Please make sure your profile is set up with your email address (and that it's not a Have a great day!