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I’m not a huge fan of state testing. Then again, I don’t really know many teachers that are. I understand the purpose of these assessments, but I can’t believe that one test can affect so many different things. Since I teach fifth grade, if the students don’t pass, the state says they shouldn’t move forward grades. Now, they get three chances to pass but, my goodness, that sure is a lot of stress for an eleven year old.
I am a huge fan of proactive language though as a factor for motivating students. I wanted to use some positive encouragement to show my students I believed in them!
Here’s one way how to show students you believe in them!
This year, I’m at a school that is all about the motivation of students and truly showing them that you care. Which, of course, is one of the best things you can do as a teacher. In the past, I haven’t really done too much for the kids on the day of the assessment. I tell them good luck, teach them all the strategies before hand, and hope for the best.
This year was a little different. Only 36% of my students passed the state assessment last year. I have worked my booty off this year trying to get them to understand the material. Trying. Their motivation has also been less than inspiring. As a last desperate attempt to get them to show what they honestly (and hopefully) know, I decided to write them each a personalized note to read on the day of their test. In each letter, I tried to comment on something they had told me in the past about themselves, something unique I remembered about them, or some words I felt they needed to hear. I then added some of those inspirational phrases…you got this, show that test who is boss, go ace that test, you can do this, I believe in you, etc.
Now, do I think that all of my students are going to read these and miraculously pass this test? Probably not. Are all of the students going to truly appreciate the amount of time and work I put into these letters? Unfortunately, definitely not. No matter how hard I try, I can’t change every single one of my students’ lives. However, If there is one student that I made a difference with, I think I’ve done something right. It always seems to be that kid you least expected to have an impact on. So, that one kid is the reason why I did this. I want to be the teacher that my students always remember. If nothing else from the entire year is meaningful, hopefully this will be!
Examples of Motivating Notes
You can check out the pictures as well, but here are a few of the notes I wrote to show my students I believed in them before the state assessment.
1. You are capable of so much more than you know! You are so smart and can do anything you set your mind to. Now, go show all that you know. I know you are going to do great on this test.
2. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and think of what will go right. You can and will pass this test. Put on that positive attitude and believe in yourself. If nothing else, I believe in you. Good luck!
3. You can and you will pass this test! Work hard and remember everything you have learned. I know you are going to do great. I believe in you!
4. You are the hardest working kid I know. One day, you will do amazing things. You are so smart! Just like you have all year, you will do great! Good luck!
5. Nothing in life is easy! But, you have to do your best! I’m so glad you were able to join us this year. Use your powers for good instead of evil. You are capable of doing amazing things in this crazy world! Good luck on this test, and do the very best you can!
6. You are such a smart girl and capable of amazing things. Sometimes, in life, you just have to fail hundreds of times before you succeed. But, eventually, you WILL succeed. Do your very best!
Do y’all have any more ideas on how to show students you believe in them? Let us know in the comments!
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