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Test Anxiety: How Can I Help My Child?

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Test Anxiety: How Can I Help My Child?

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A Parent Says…

My daughter is already having anxiety about the standardized tests she will take when she returns to school after spring break. I really feel for her, and I’m not sure what I can do to lessen her angst. In school, I know they have been “practicing” test-taking strategies all year. It seems that a big emphasis is placed on this. She wants to do well, but feels she might panic on test day and really bomb. I have a neighbor who took her children out of the public schools and put them in a private school largely because she felt too much time and energy were spent on standardized tests. I’m not sure what I, as a parent, can or should do.

 

A Teacher Says…

I have to be totally honest and say that I think the emphasis on testing has had a negative impact on the quality of teaching. As teachers, we are just as frustrated as the kids. It seems every time we turn around, there is another standardized test on the horizon. Much time is spent analyzing testing data and the pressure is on to “prepare the students for the test” and — oh yeah — they better score well or it’s your fault. That being said, testing isn’t stopping anytime soon, unfortunately. Teach your daughter some relaxation techniques. Before a test, I would tell my students to stand up and really stretch and then shake their arms around. We would always end up laughing, wondering if passers-by thought we were crazy. The giggling relieved stress. Make sure your daughter gets plenty of sleep and eats a healthy breakfast. Emphasize that she can only do her best, and if she does that, it’s good enough for you.

 

 

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