I wish there was a Testing Fairy, sort of like the Tooth Fairy. She (or he, I’m not sexist) would flit around the world and visit children in their sleep the night before important tests. Maybe adults too, now that I think about it.
The Testing Fairy would serve two important functions. First, she (for the sake of argument, I’m going with a female fairy here) would impart last minute reminders to the test-taker, and second, she would provide the test-taker with a much needed boost of confidence.
I imagine right now she would be going to all the homes of the fourth graders in my school, slipping silently into their bedrooms for a late night visit. She would only need a moment to do her work, but she would be oh-so-effective. Never again would a child who knows how to multiply forget to put in a zero place holder. Gone would be the days of mixing up metaphors and similes. Writing a five paragraph essay would be as easy as breathing. And the real beauty of this system? The students would lose the anxiety and fear that often come with testing.
The Testing Fairy would spend just a nano-second to remind each one of all that they’ve learned and all that they know. She would assure them that they were good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like them (with apologies to Stuart Smalley). They wouldn’t base their self-worth on a test score, but they would still feel a sense of accomplishment in doing well. What a perfect situation that would be.
I really think I might be on to something here. If you happen to know any unemployed (or under-employed) fairies looking for a new line of work, please send them my way. Who wouldn’t want to help kids get through all those seemingly endless tests with grace and dignity? Any fairy worth her salt certainly would.