I have never, EVER, lost a student’s exam.
I came awfully close this week.
Student H.’s test wasn’t in the binder that resides in my school bag, where the completed tests go, waiting to be checked.
At first I wasn’t worried. Since I teach in the format of a learning center, students take tests at different times. Some students may be taking a test while others are studying. Some students take their tests in sections, on consecutive days. It has happened to me before that instead of placing the completed test in my “home” binder I put it back where it came out of – the classroom “prepared tests” binder (arranged according to levels).
It wasn’t there.
I checked all the places it could logically be. In “wrong” sections of the classroom binder. In the student’s personal classroom folder (each student has one on a table in class)
We’ve been working in class on the thinking skill of “identifying different perspectives” (part of our literature program). I’m always influenced by what I’m currently teaching in class so:
I fought down the panic. I said to myself :
“You have been a teacher for almost 30 years. You KNOW the missing test HAS TO be in class. Go home and stop and thinking about it. Tomorrow begin the search again, refreshed, and then you will find it” (that was yesterday).
I’ll call that the “wise old teacher’s perspective”.
Today I went through all the places the test couldn’t possibly be.
And I found it.
It was in the binder for tests which had already been checked and were waiting to be returned, FILED UNDER THE WRONG LEVEL!
I checked it and the student is non the wiser.
And then I panicked.
Tonight the perspective of “old teacher” has taken over. I have to keep track of tests for the next 12 years, I can’t start “losing it” now!
I think I’ll go and get some sleep. No matter how I interpret “old”, it’s been a long day.
Tomorrow’s a new day.