Test Anxiety

20 Jul

I’m a performer. I routinely do insane things on stage, that most people would be terrified of doing. And secretly, I’m terrified, too, but I go on stage and dance or speak or improvise and I LOVE IT. And I always know beforehand that I’m going to love it.
Taking tests, though – I hate them. I don’t know why, I’ve always been a decent student. I freaked out before taking the PSAT and the SAT and the ACT, and I did really well on all of them. I panicked before taking the WEST B and the WEST E for Elementary Education, which are two tests required to teach elementary school in Washington. I passed them both.

Tomorrow I’m taking the WEST E for middle school Humanities and Math, and I am more nervous than I have been for anything, in a very long time.

I know the material – I can do middle school math. And I’m not worried about social studies and language arts.
I already talked to the program adviser and he told me that I was NOT going to be kicked out of the program if I don’t pass this time – I just have to re-test in September. So it’s not like it’s the end of the world if I do poorly.
However, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Math, math, math.

I used to love it. And this is exactly why I WANT to teach middle school math – in middle school, I didn’t understand geometry and my teacher didn’t explain it and for the first time in my life I wasn’t a high achiever. I tried and I tried, but I couldn’t figure out the math.

I can do geometry. I do geometry on a regular basis. I build things and sew things and garden and do all these things that require geometry. But I got a bad grade (I didn’t even fail, I think I got a C) in one class and it changed my whole outlook on math.

I want to be a better math teacher than that.

But first I have to (wo)man up and pass this test.

On the plus side – I will never dismiss my students who have test anxiety. It’s real, and it’s crippling.

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2 Responses to “Test Anxiety”

  1. respondingtothecall July 21, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    You are going to do great! I hear you about the nerves, but as you said, you know the material. And just think, in a few hours you will be done with these tests forever!! (at least I hope it’s forever) 🙂

    • teacherbecoming2013 July 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      I feel ok about it – so let’s hope I passed and don’t have to do it again!

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