I am blessed to be a teacher. Every year I have 20 to 24 seven to eight year olds. They all have different personalities, different abilities, different home lives, different cultures and I love them all. Some students are more challenging than others but I never get tired of trying to figure out what makes my students get motivated to learn or excited about new things. The most important thing to me as a teacher is to form a bond with my students so I can make them feel safe to take risks and challenge themselves. The least important thing to me is whether my students do well on the once a year, mandatory state testing. It does nothing to show the journey my students have taken during the school year: their successes, their accomplishments, their challenges followed by their courage to keep trying. Really, I don’t care about state tests…..Hmmm….then why am I so distressed about the state testing that begins in my classroom on Tuesday?