My alternate universe of testing.

I teach 2nd- and 3rd-graders who have low-incidence disabilities-

So I’ve been individually giving the ACCESS for English Learners- not all my students are English Learners, so not all my kids have to take it. And some of my students are jealous-

P- When am I going to be tested, Ms. Tan?
Me- You don’t need to take this test. You’re good!
P- But I wanna take this test!!!! (Stomps away with an angry face)

M- How come I don’t get to test?
Me- You don’t need to take this test!
M- But I want it! I want it!!! (Begins crying and wailing. I ask him if he needs to go the Cool Down area, and he says yes. He sits, writes a “Think Sheet” about how sad he is that he didn’t get to take the test. Then he walks over to me.)
M- Do I get to take the test tomorrow, Ms. Tan?

Ooh. I’m in an alternate universe in my classroom. Because my students take alternate assessments (ie. Not the typical standardized assessments), they only test formally 3-4 times in the year. Because of my students’ assessment modifications per their IEPs, I’m one of the few classrooms in the city, few in the nation, besides early childhood, where testing isn’t this take-all monster, at least so ridiculously so. My kids are excited to show their knowledge, get some time with me to show it, and do their best to show it. Kids 3-8 everywhere else in my school are testing at least once a month, away from classmates and instructional time.

I’m glad my kids aren’t dreading some “test” that’s coming. I’m glad I’m not, either. And I am so lucky right now that I don’t have to face this beast, relatively speaking, in my classroom. Oof.


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