Every school year brings its fair share of surprises. But the students at an elementary school in Woodbury, New Jersey were greeted with a wonderful surprise that lifted them up and boosted their confidence. Every year, students must face the dreaded Common Core exams that pose tricky questions and counter-intuitive expectations about how the students are supposed to solve them and show their work.
While many teachers do their best and then pat the students on the back when the time to take the exam arrives, a New Jersey teacher and role model educator, Chandni Langford has a different approach. Mrs. Langford came up with a progressive and motivating way to keep the students engaged and excited about the test that lies on the desk before them. She wrote inspiring messages to each student and helped them feel less nervous about the intimidating test.
In New Jersey, students must face the PARCC test, which to them is like a fire-breathing dragon. It arrives on their calendars every year and induces a lot of stress for the young children.
Instead of just throwing her students to the wolves, Mrs. Landford wrote inspiring messages to encourage her students to try their best on the statewide test. And when she shared images of what she had done on the internet, people could not get enough. It was such a good idea, I’m sure other teachers have used it themselves – and if they haven’t, they should!
Students in Mrs. Langford’s class got back to school on test day and were all smiles when they saw what she had done. Nothing like this had ever been done at the Evergreen Avenue Elementary school before. And the fifth graders who sat down at the decorated desks were excited to see a motivational note right there, waiting to urge them on to greatness.
“Remember there is no elevator to success. You must take the stairs! You got this!” Mrs. Langford wrote to a student named Lis.
The notes were written in dry erase markers so they could be wiped away when the test was complete. Not only did Mrs. Langford realize an innovative way to keep her students engaged, but she also did it without damaging any of the school’s equipment.
Other notes included the following phrases aimed to inspire the children to do their best and stay sharp throughout the test.
“Grow your brain!” she wrote. As long as “Learning is your superpower!”
These motivational messages mentally prepared the students to take on the test. It boosted their confidence. Although they had been studying for it all year long, knowing that their teacher was rooting for them, and with so much passion, gave them a leg up to do their absolute best, come test day.
There is no question why Mrs. Langford’s innovative idea went viral. With thousands of likes and shares, it proved to be the type of idea that had legs. People ran with it and should be taking it into their classrooms to motivate their children, come test time.