Today I gave my science class it's Final Exam. We don't call tests, "Tests" anymore because it creates anxiety and morose in students with an over abundance of sensibilities. These may include anxiety disorders, emotional difficulties, behavior problems, and the occasional mental illness. This list includes the teachers and staff of today's modern educational experience. I speak from somewhat of an authoritarian point of view since I myself am part of this experience. I am a full time Special Education Professional and a Part Time Science Teacher.
We instead call tests by their new label, Assessments. So, what we have accomplished by changing the moniker of the test to assessment is creating a new form of angst in the teacher. Now, we have to retrain ourselves to use a whole different verbiage to describe something that should be called what it is, a test. Some of my students, not the brighter ones mind you, but just some of them give me that sideways glance and ask, "Huh, what's that?"
As you can imagine that can lead to a whole different set of explanations. A Test is: a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use. So, we can see that using the word Test would make everything easy. It's the thing that tells you how a student is doing academically.
Well an Assessment on the other hand is: the evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something. Ok, that one is a little more "New Agey". Now we're evaluating the "Nature" of something. Let's get down to the metaphysics of the process. Let's test the True Nature of our student's. How are they handling the information presented. Are they absorbing it, or faking it? The Hippy's are taking over and taking a test is becoming a love fest. What's next gauging the, "Want to do something"? I want a million bucks, does that make it happen?
So, I gave my students their Final Exam. The operative adjective is, "Final". Meaning, done, no more, no mas, and that's all folks. Final, geez. That one makes it sound so, "Final" What's at the end of this exam, a tall boney fellow wearing a long black hooded cloak?
Fortunately all of my students passes the exam, another word for test, the lowest grade was an 80%, so I guess all's good. Next time I'll use the word Assessment, smile more, and think about giving everyone a big hug. Not gonna do it, just think about it. After all I have that stoic persona to keep up.
Peace and Balance,
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