Third Grade Headless Chickens

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Picture a chicken running with it's head cut off. Like, a snow-white hen still hecticly mobile for a few seconds after being decapitated with an ax.

Thus is the most common description of someone (usually) under bad stress. Stress has both good and bad types, beleive it or not, it's bad types being distress and hyperstress, good types being hypostress and eustress.

Distress is simply stress from constant changes to your usual routine, divided into acute (immedite stress with change of routine) stress and chronic (constant, long-term changes of routine) stress. Hyperstress--probably the msot common type of stress, in my opinion--is when someone takes on more than they can handle. In opposite, hypostress is like exess boredom or restlessness; you constantly follow a routine that eventually becomes too easy for the mind and body, thus lacking any challenge or excitement. Lastly, eustress is stress you get before you release physical effort/force.

Obviously, the bad stress can truly mess you up--just like no stress at all can. The important thing is to find balance...which, although difficult--EXTREMELY difficult for students of all ages--is obtainable. However, my point here isn't just to educate about the different types of stress (although that is a nice upside, my good deed for the day completed). My object here is to point out how much stress and emphasis is put on standarized testing on young children.

Who cares? Is what many are (probably) wondering. I, myself, have been taking standarized tests for years. I've naturally never stressed too much over them, either, and I tend to stress very extremely and very easily. So what's the big deal?

Today, I would like to arouse to point of over-stressing standardized testing to young children, specifically third grade-age children {the title of this post will begin making sense soon now}. My oldest little sister just came out of third grade. She lucked out; on Lejeune, the standarized tests don't effect you moving on to the next grade. You can't 'pass' or 'fail' them. Out in public schools, however, you fail the tests...and you fail the grade.

Teaching eight/nine-year-olds stress management is like trying to teach a one-year-old how to play My Little Pony memory. It's pointless, and a waste of time, because nothing will stick. They're too young to comprehend it all. So instead, you grill these kids about needing to pass or they'll fail and all their friends will move on without them (and whatever else the kids are told) until they all but have a nervous breakdown. Given, I feel like I'm having one every minute some days...but these kids are way too young to be stressing them out like this! Am I the *only* one who sees that?





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izz123 said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm
Interesting title. I too think most standardized tests are a bit pointless. I don't really see many little kids stressing out over them though. But testing days, which take around a week, take away from actual instructional days, not to mention all the time spent reviewing for them. I think the teachers are the ones under the stress, and the principals. If their kids don't do well, then their schools/their teaching don't look good. That takes away proper teaching methods whe... (more »)
 
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