We finished up our STAAR tests last week, and I spent the bulk of two school days with students in my testing group. I only knew a few of them before that happened. As soon as they were done on the last day, I turned in my materials and began ripping off the colored butcher paper that covered any instructional signage. I must have had an evil gleam in my eye because the kids were delighted by my vigor. In fact, I felt so energized that I read from one of John Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog series with character voices for Hank, Drover, Pete the Barncat, etc. They were laughing in all the right places, and I was laughing, too. I found out later that they now think I’m “cool.” That’s nice.