Springtime in the state of Texas means the last push before the state assessment. Districts all over the state right now are giving students a released STAAR test from a previous year. This data tells teachers and administrators whether students are prepared for the “big test”.
This “crunch time” can be one of the most stressful times in education. You have your most reliable data in terms of how your students will perform on the state test. When you look at the data, and if it is not where you would like for it to be, there are two ways you can respond.
As hard as it may be, you should choose option two. Freak out at home. Freak out in your car on the drive home. Freak out in your office after everyone has left the building. Freak out for a bit and then get to work. Create a plan on how to get the students prepared in the 6-8 weeks you have left. Go before your team with confidence that you have a strong plan. Go before your team with great hope that together, as a team, you will reach your goal. This is the time where you show your true leadership skills. And if (or when) fear creeps in, remember, STAY CALM AND LEAD ON!
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.