I have some wonderful news for you! The season of #2 pencils and “fill in the bubble” is short. The heart that holds the treasure of Jesus Christ is for eternity.
I don’t need to tell you our society functions on a standard of measurements. Our child got an A in math, they are smart. Our child got a D in math, they are struggling. We need these standards, they are helpful. However, they are not a totality of what is being learned. And the even greater news is that those test scores are not a reflection of how God will use your child.
And dear teachers, these test scores are not a reflection of the blessing you are to your students. Great teachers, bless their students by helping them become problem solvers! Great teachers increase a child’s confidence and encourage them. That cannot be measured in bubbles.
Jen Hatmaker recently posted a conversation on Facebook about her adopted daughter Remy’s struggles with standardized testing; I am including the link below. This got me started on this current rant.
We’ve had tears many times over standardized testing. Mine mostly. I hate for teachers to bear the consequences of a test; but I hate more for our children to feel the burden of their worth measured in state standards. Remy Hatmaker is from another country, this isn’t a disability, this isn’t necessarily even a problem, until we try and fit it under the umbrella of normal … This is just how Americans do things. When you look at learning from the view of struggles, like an adrenaline disorder or audio processing, perhaps accommodations can be made. But when you are talking about environment and what a child has actually experienced in their life that is completely different.
What HAS Remy Hatmaker learned since coming to America? Quite a bit and that is being modest. How does a standardized test even begin to measure this level of learning?
Our son John struggles terribly with written tests, verbally he rocks the house. At one school they wouldn’t allow him to test verbally because “he will have to write things by hand in society…” I could go on and on about this and probably will at some point. For now I will tell you this story. It is a success story. John adores history. He watches the history channel for fun, and he listens to historical non-fiction on his IPhone. A few years ago I was telling him about a successful meeting my dad had with some officials from Turkey. He perked up and said “Negotiations with the Turks? That is impressive, not even the Crusaders were able to accomplish that!”
What?!?! I had to really process, even google, what he was talking about. This statement is beyond my understanding… and it was applicable to what I had told him. He associated what he knew to a story, outside of the classroom, outside of the context of his history class, and applied it to a current affair. How do you measure that type of historical understanding to a bubble laden test. You don’t. The totality of what your child has learned and what they KNOW cannot be measured by the state you live in. I know my child that struggles with tests will be very successful, but I don’t think he will be a professional test taker. Jesus will use him in ways that surpass human understanding. And his struggles now, properly handled, will prepare him for the grandness the Lord has in store. What a huge relief! What a colossal blessing!
And aside from an eye exam, I haven’t had a written test since graduate school; Masters Orals were my last big “test.” Testing where I get to talk for hours, those and pregnancy tests, I have mastered. But I made a 12 on my ACT. A 12 folks.
It is a season. Just a season.
I encourage you to take a peek at the insights on the Hatmaker link below. There are a lot of families dealing with a wide variety of issues when it comes to test taking. I pray that those of you who are dealing with any stresses and hurts in association to standardized tests, reports cards, and the worries associated with struggle, can find rest and peace of mind in Jesus.
The Master Creator cares only about one measurement; the heart. Be encouraged and not discouraged. Your child is a perfectly wonderful creation in Christ. He knew what He was doing. He doesn’t make mistakes.
For the Lord sees not as a man sees; man looks on the outwards appearances, but I The Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7