When the Kid Who Never "Struggles" Finally Does

I've been having a tough time lately with my "top" student. This girl is the teacher's dream student. She is attentive, respectful, and seems to just churn out exemplary work.

But lately she has been very stressed and anxious. A lot of this anxiety seems tied to the state test.

I don't know what to do, and I'm not sure how much we've unconsciously been putting pressure on her. I know that my school and classroom this year are a lot more test-oriented than I would prefer, so it's hard to really assess honestly. It reminds me of the analogy of the frog in water that slowly reaches a boiling point. I've been teaching in the high stakes environment of a Renewal school long enough that I think my perspective may be warped.

I try my best to reassure her. I try to let her know that 1) She's capable of acing this test, no problem, and 2) The test isn't "all important." But these words may not match up with what the rest of our teaching is messaging.

I just hope we can find a way to help her, because to be honest, it's unsettling and upsetting to watch a kid who's so normally happy and basically "good at school" struggling.


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