My 2160 test sheets!
“Assessment”, a term I’m getting to hate more as my days as a teacher continue making me a more experienced teacher.
2160 is the key number here. This is the number of test sheets I had to correct and grade during the first semester ONLY. This includes quizzes I had to administer for my classes, as well as the final standardized test which I also had to design, administer and score on my own. So, being the only teacher of English in the entire school, I had to shoulder the burden and not complain about it. I did.
While designing my tests and quizzes, I always try to comply by the fundamentals of ESL/EFL assessment. Therefore, keeping a keen eye on the extent to which my tests are valid, reliable and test-taker friendly was instilled, internalized and assimilated in my subconscious. This, of course, helps make the work easier, however, the amount of sheets I had to deal with was way beyond my human abilities afforded by my 57 kg body. But since I’m a man who’s fully aware of his duties, I just tell myself that “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” and immerse into any task at hand.
The exhaustion such a “pharaonic” task might cause is beyond description. However, my worst nightmare wasn’t designing, administering or even grading the papers. It was how well my students would do. This preoccupying obsession wouldn’t let go, and when grading the test papers, my worst fears would emerge into haunting realities. MANY students failed what I conceived as “Easy tests”. Believe me, nothing breaks a teacher’s heart more than knowing that all the efforts they had exerted were not enough. Although, some students did really great and got A+’s, a lot of other students didn’t even reach average scores.
This is an example of what I had, and still have, to deal with.
This pathetic image portrays my frustrations whenever testing knocks the door!
I only feel better when I think back of the pitfalls of our educational system, where students HAVE to pass even though they don’t satisfy the required criteria and without even passing their tests. I think I’m not the one to blame. My other consolation is the A+’s the high achieving students get.