Monthly Archives: March 2010

Part of a whole: not just "tips"

Today I watched a TV clip of an interview with someone who wrote about reducing test anxiety. If I were a student about to take the SAT or GRE or GMAT or LSAT,  I would have found it woefully wanting. It’s not that the information was wrong (the specialist talked about “breathing”) but it was all so “tips” oriented.  What do I mean and what’s wrong with “tips”?

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Teachers are going to be tested

The calm, confident and focused teacher

The calm, confident and focused teacher

As the health care debate nears some resolution (at least for the time being), the legislative agenda is already setting its compass to point towards education. A lead article in the New York Times titled “Obama Calls for a Major Change in the Education Law,” the President and his Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan are calling for a re-visioning of No Child Left Behind.

(see referenced article link to ‘Major Change in Education Law’)

One of the key features of the new policy is the focus on teachers and how they teach.

Quoting the article: The administration’s proposals would also rework the law’s teacher-quality provisions by requiring states to develop evaluation procedures to distinguish effective instructors, partly based on whether their students are learning.

I read this to mean: teachers are going to be tested. Big time. I don’t mean…

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Basic skills training…yes!

The Workbook as textbook for basic skills

The Workbook as textbook for basic skills course

Recently I learned that Mendocino College is offering a course titled Test Anxiety and Test Taking Skills.  The course description reads:  “The mental, emotional, and physical aspects of test anxiety. General life stressors, school related stressors and techniques for eliminating or reducing anxiety. Studying for a test and test-taking strategies will be emphasized.”

A course with this title and purpose was so intriguing to me that….

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Advice for parents: calm yourself down

Help your child by calming down

Help your child by calming down

If your child hates tests, life is hard for your child and for you. You worry along with them when they become severely anxious for any reason. You are frustrated when they won’t study. You believe you have failed as a parent when their test scores are lower than their peers’. You might be intensely angry at the school system—if not the whole culture—for putting so much weight on testing. It shouldn’t make your child suffer or put you in the position of worrying for them.

As the stress rises and your child’s performance worsens, you probably feel hopeless and helpless. You want to do something to…

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