We didn’t let grouchy teachers stress us

Published 4:08 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023

By Ricky Swindle
Muffler Shop Musings

Howdy, friends!

I was watching Memphis news the other day and saw this story about an 8-year-old little girl who walked out of the school, and a mile down the road, because she was “stressed out” over the TCAP test. Those tests were called achievement tests in my day.

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They also reported about half of the third graders in Memphis schools could not read! Half? What have they been doing for three years up there, running a daycare?

First thing first. I couldn’t imagine myself at 8 years old, or any age, just getting up and walking out of school. 

If I had enough of my behind left after Momma got done with me then Daddy would have gotten the rest of it when he came home.  

But this little girl’s mother was on TV defending the child’s actions saying the test was too hard.

 I imagine it was too hard for a kid who can’t read. She stated the child was stressing because she didn’t want to do summer school again this year.

We can’t change tests that students who apply themselves to are passing just because your kid can’t or is not willing to try. There has to be a standard to be met in these tests to assure that the child is learning.

I will back my kids up on anything I believe they are right about, but if I believe they are wrong I’ll be the first to tell them they’re wrong. 

Kids have to know they are loved first and foremost and correcting your child’s behavior is showing your love for them.

I remember those dreaded achievement tests in school, they were long and boring. I recall the teachers being extra kind during that time. Even the mean, grouchy teachers had some sort of attitude adjustment that week and were uncharacteristically sweet during that period.

They gave us orange juice and cookies and kindly asked us to do the best we could. Was it hard? Of course it was. They were testing to see if we had learned anything.

Folks, I’m not saying you can’t back up and defend your young’uns, I’m just saying defend them when they are right, correct them when they are wrong. 

An 8 year old child walking a mile away from school in the middle of the day is wrong any way you look at it. She’s lucky no harm came her way on a dangerous Memphis street.

Take care of yourself folks and take care of your young’uns. Let them know they’ll be tested daily as an adult and that achievement test in no way compares to the tests of life that are coming.

Write to Ricky Swindle at rickyswindle@bellsouth.net