A little encouragement can go a long way for students, and ISTEP is no exception. This is what English teacher Rachel Miller had in mind when creating The Testing Encouragement and Motivation Project (TEMP).
“The Testing Encouragement and Motivation Project (TEMP) is a way for teachers and administration to show their support for the students during ISTEP testing and to reward them for putting forth their best effort,” said Miller.
This two-part project included staff members writing personal, uplifting notes to boost students’ confidence and prompt them to do their best on the standardized tests. An incentive was also put in place, which was watching Aquaman in the auditorium with snacks and drinks.
After noticing that there wasn’t much support for students who were taking ISTEP, Miller decided to do something about it. She chose to restart the project she had previously done at Marion C. Moore High School, her previous school in Louisville, Kentucky. With a little help from Principal Chad Johnson and guidance counselor Brandi Kerley, Miller was able to put her plan into action.
“Students work very hard to prepare themselves for the ISTEP and it’s often not a very fun experience, so a little added levity can be encouraging,” said Miller.
Miller hoped that she would be able to motivate students, alongside other teachers and administrators, to look at ISTEP as something more than just another pointless exam, but as a preparation for the future.
“I want students to understand that although these tests may not be fun or seem relevant, they’re actually a good model for obstacles they will face in life,” said Miller.
Feedback from students showed they enjoyed the notes and rewards, and teachers saw that students were positively affected by them. Through this, Miller was able to see the ability staff had to help students. That only reaffirmed her plans to continue and expand this project in years to come.
Story by: Masden Embry