It’s springtime… and in Texas, that means state testing! We are two weeks from the first cycle of tests. Here are a few tips on how to get through spring testing.
Implement Intervention/Acceleration Plan
At this point, you should have data from district assessments. Use that data to create a plan to help improve ALL students. In state accountability, remember, all students count. Create a plan to work with small groups of students who have the same struggles. Don’t group students who performed the same overall… they may each have different skills with which they struggle. Look at the exact skills, skills that are high-leverage when it comes to STAAR, and group students according to that data.
Trust the Process
Trust that you have done right by students all year long. State testing is one day in the year, but is looking at instruction that took place for the entire school year. Trust that your Tier 1 (whole group classroom instruction) was solid. Trust that your intervention/acceleration plan was strong… that you provided support for each student, giving them the support needed to improve.
Finally, stay calm. This is probably the most difficult when it comes to administrative leaders. During this time, we get a bit nervous, antsy, and/or anxious. When the leader is anxious, it inevitably is passed along to teachers, who, in turn, pass it along to students. As the leader, remember, you must be the example. You may be crumbling on the inside, but keep it together. Be the cheerleader for the teachers and students. Let them know you believe in them and know they are going to rock it this spring!
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.