All for a test – STAAR anxiety strikes again

A. Johnson and A. Garrett , Staff Writer

The time is near. The time that anxious students, parents, and teachers fear. Oh no – STAAR is here! Preparing for STAAR can be very stressful. But why would an annual test cause such grief?

One theory is that a student’s mindset plays a huge role in STAAR-related tension.  Brandie Anderson, an ELA teacher at ROMS, shared her view that this all starts with students’ negative beliefs. When students feel badly about their ability to perform well, there are a few things they can do to overcome this.

Stay calm, believe in yourself, and enjoy spring break,”, Ms. Anderson explained. “That  will ensure you’re ready for STAAR.”

But as you know, there’s more than one side to a story.  Some students think that what causes them to get so worried is the importance of needing to pass the test. Students are afraid of looking bad or getting left behind which makes them want to work harder and causes them to stress more.

Considering the fact that students get nervous around this time ROISD decided to add the most common things that the students use now days. Technology.  According to Anderson, it has allowed the students to break into smaller groups, and let the teacher focus on the kids who need more help. Different tools and better resources have been provided to help the students prepare for the test.

Along with the technology the students still have the “old school” strategies. For example, when answering  test questions go back and read the passage, and annotate. These type of last minute reminders can really make a difference.

On the morning of  the test students should eat a healthy breakfast, be well rested, and have lots of confidence.  

“Student should believe that they are going to pass the test,” sixth grade ELA teacher Shannon Edwards shared. “The test doesn’t define who they  are. It just takes effort.”