Exploring Minnesota–Testing Style

It is testing season in the Minnesota education world. Children and teachers alike dread this time.  Kids do not like to take tests – especially ones that take a long time. Since all kids test at difference speeds, there is frustration that abounds.  There is so much to this, but that is not the point of this email.

As an online educator, testing season brings specific challenges. Although the curriculum my online school is entirely online, testing needs to be done in person in a specific location.  My school sends out testers to locations all around the state to test kids on site.  We try to make it so that no student has to drive more than two hours for a testing site on the first round – that was last week.  We are now on round two for those who missed last week; their drive might be a bit longer.

Minnesota is a huge state – about 360 miles from east to west and about 407 miles from north to south.  To put this into perspective for my Rhode Island relatives: 149 Rhode Islands would fit into Minnesota.

I have been on the road since 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday to support this state-wide testing effort. It just so happened that some truancy court cases coincided with some needs that we had.  I spent Tuesday dealing with International Falls. If I had taken my passport along, I could have visited Cananda!  On Wednesday, I headed to Grand Rapids. And today, I will am in Two Harbors.

I have had a great week!!!

I have seen wooded areas, wide open areas, lakes, lakes, and more lakes.  And I have crossed the Mississippi River more times than I can remember.  I even saw a little snow bank!  I have seen lighthouses, birds of prey that I cannot identify, and border patrol officers.  I have seen signs for wild rice, maple syrup, and organic veggies.

While watching (on TV) the Red Sox and Twins battle it out last night, I saw a GREAT tourism commercial for Minnesota.  Please check out the video by clicking here – it is so great!

I love Minnesota. I love its variety of landscape, its wonderful people, and its excellent roads – even if I wish the speed limits on the non-interstate roads were faster. I love this state.  And I love my job which has allowed me to Explore Minnesota a lot in three days!

Happy Thursday!

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