A Moment of Distraction – 2 Perspectives

I took this one!
I took this one!

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)

Binders for personal folders
Binders for personal folders

Not there.

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.


4 thoughts on “A Moment of Distraction – 2 Perspectives”

  1. Oh Naomi, I feel your panic! I have now got into the habit of scanning everything as soon as possible after collecting it from students. Fortunately at my college we have excellent scanners that email a PDF file directly to me. I file them into a folder just in case something happens to the original. It’s a few extra steps each time, but worthwhile for my peace of mind!

    1. Lesley!
      So glad you know what I mean!
      Can’t even begin to imagine scanning at our school. But at least I’ve moved all the homework online, no more carrying THOSE papers around!

  2. I know the feeling well. Corrected a pile of tests and entered grades and then saw that two were missing and it was the weekend. And the only place they could have been was at the place I had been teaching so I kept mentally retracing my steps and realised I had visited my boss and left her some materials. Called Monday am and luckily she had the exams. But it was a very scary weekend.

    1. I can imagine exactly what you felt that weekend, Marjorie!
      Just the thought of facing a student and telling him/her that the test he/she worked on has disappeared gives me the shivers…
      Glad it ended well for you too!

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