We are now knee deep in OLSAT / BSRA testing. Parents are emailing/texting me that they are ill on the appointed day from all of the stress – ready to vomit. I have a few words of advice – Chill Out! Drink a scotch or do whatever it takes to keep the stress inside you and away from your child. They are only going to meet a teacher to show them what 4 year olds know.
We had our own little crisis on testing day! Our daughter’s test was on the Lower East Side. We were greeted by a male security guard that told us we should be going to school in our own neighborhood – not there. This made my daughter upset, asking us why they don’t want us – she did not feel welcome to say the least. While waiting, we saw many parents faced with the dilemma of asking to make sure the teacher giving the test spoke some resemblance of English (many teachers did not have this gift of language skill at our location) – we did the same and felt on guard because of this request. Instead, they gave us a person, sadly, crippled with an affliction that was scary to our 4 yr. old child. While we can all understand wanting to be politically correct, this is not the time to introduce your child to the unfairness of physical impairments. A child with no separation issues suddenly began to cling to her mother even as this person promised lollipops afterward – straight out of a witches story in my daughter’s mind. We were forced to ask for a replacement and met with consternation. Another person finally came out asking for my daughter and abruptly took her out of the waiting area. With my stomach in knots, I could only imagine what could happen next?
A friend had told us that a week ago, she was upset that her child had come out from the testing after only 25 minutes. She asked if her child had finished all of the exam and was given the standard reply that it is impossible for the teacher to skip anything, so of course the child had finished. This mother insisted that they check the exam – which they did – to find that indeed, two pages had been skipped over. The only thing this mother could tell us about her testing experience is that if your child comes out sooner than 35 – 40 minutes, then make sure the test was completed. For the most-part, the teachers giving this exam are not well trained and do not care that their input affects the future of the child entrusted to them. So what happens next to us? … our child comes out after 25 minutes! … complaining that there are no lollipops!
1. Stay calm, no matter the opposition you face
2. Keep your child free and clear of the stress you feel
3. Bring two books; one to read to your child and then one for yourself
4. Tell your child to show the teacher how smart a 4 yr. old can be
5. Bribes can’t hurt this one time – so promise a treat (lollipop?) afterward