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Changing your students’ view of testing!

Title – Changing your students’ view of testing!

By – Shannon Vanderford

This is my first year back in the classroom, after spending 29 years in the medical field. Things have been going really well, except for my students’ obvious lack of studying for tests. It was very frustrating for me, because my students participate enthusiastically in class, ask plenty of questions, usually complete all their homework assignments correctly, etc. But when test time rolled around, they did not do well. One day I made the comment to them that tests were given not only to test their knowledge of a particular subject, but to also test my ability to teach that subject. For some reason, that really got their attention. They began asking questions about “what’s it like to teach”, “how do you know when you are doing a good job”, etc. We had an awesome conversation about teaching, learning, test taking, career choices, etc. The next day my class had a social studies test, and several students informed me that they had studied for this test, because they wanted me to know that I had done a good job teaching them the material! Not surprisingly, the entire class performed very well on this particular test. Several of my students have since told me that they “always think of the teacher being tested” when they are taking my tests, since our conversation back in September. I think it helps students to know that testing and feedback is not just a process that applies to school work, but it applies throughout life in every profession – and especially in the teaching profession.

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Shannon Vanderford

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