This morning, the elementary students in my district started the MAP test.
It's the state standardized test for Missouri.
We prepared and practiced and taught and learned.
We engaged and planned and discussed.
My teaching partner read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day to our students yesterday.
We encouraged them to do their best...
to show what they know...
to not stress and to just give it their best effort...
to get a good night's rest and work hard to be here for the next three days.
And then this morning...they opened up the Chromebooks and got to work.
I was so proud as they read and answered questions, working so hard through every single part of the test.
They went back to the text and reread the passages to find the answers.
They thought and pondered.
And hopefully, they answered in complete sentences.
I would love it if all of my kiddos scored proficient or advanced on the state assessment.
But guess what?
They might not.
And that's okay.
If they don't, I will still be so proud of the little individuals that they have grown into this school year.
My classroom is full of talented students.
Some are athletes.
Some are inventors.
Some are builders.
Some are artists.
I have students in my class who go out of their way to make sure their friends are feeling loved and included EVERY SINGLE DAY.
They are kind and caring and helpful.
Yes, I want them to perform at their own personal best on the end-of-the-year assessment, but to me...it's more about the effort, less about the final score.
More about the perseverance and less about the possibility that they might have answered a few questions incorrectly.
At the end of the school year, I hope that my students leave this room being more kind,
more understanding of people who are different than them,
more willing to work hard,
and knowing that they are unique and appreciated and loved.
I pray that they remember so much more about their experience in Mrs. Newkirk's classroom this year than the test we started this morning.
Love and hugs from the farmhouse,
dear teachers, parents, & students,
as you finish out your final weeks of the school year.