Friday, February 11, 2011

Tests, Quizzes and Homework, Oh My....

Providing Opportunities for Success.

I failed the first two quizzes and the first test in my sophomore Geometry class in high school.  I was doing all of my homework and I could complete problems on the board in class, but for some reason I could not pass the quizzes and tests.  Fortunately for me, my teacher was Brother Donald Mansir.

If it were not for Brother Donald, I probably would have failed that geometry class. After seeing the disconnect between my abilities and my test scores, Brother Donald formulated a plan to maximize my talents and allow me to succeed.  There were three juniors in that class who were also failing tests, but they were also not doing their homework nor could they answer questions in class.

Brother Donald's plan was quite simple.  On days of tests and quizzes, I was to sit with those three juniors in the library and guide them through the exams.  If I could get them to complete enough of the work to earn a C, Brother Donald would give me an A for my quiz or exam grade.

Brother Donald recognized my ability and my difficulty in testing.  He treated me as an individual and provided me with an opportunity to demonstrate my knowledge without testing. While, also providing an opportunity to assist other students who were in need.

I have always appreciated Brother Donald's wisdom in providing me with an alternative avenue for success in his classroom.  I have tried to emulate the way Brother Donald treated me with my students.  Trying to treat them as individuals with uniques sets of abilities and characteristics, providing all students with alternative avenues and a variety mechanisms that provide for and encourage their success.

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