September 17, 2008

Cheating on Tests

Not the students, me. If you are a teacher, you know where I'm coming from here: tests are hard to write. (Have I written about this before? It's a bit sad that I can't remember. Hmm.) Let me clarify--multiple-choice tests are hard to write. Essay tests are easy. I bet you can guess which is easier to grade though. (It's the multiple-choice tests.)

So, I have a test coming up. We've just finished The Most Dangerous Game, a thrilling short story by Richard Connell, and we're finally ready to test. Just a short test--it was a short story--so I'm cheating. I'm not carefully writing my own perfect test. I'm heading down to the copy room to run off the book test.

Most teachers don't have any qualms about this, but I do. Sometimes the materials we get that go with our textbooks are loads of help, but about 89% of the time, they are rubbish. The exact sort of rubbish, I imagine, that the testing folks want our kids to write. I like to create my own materials, not just blindly copy what the good textbook folks want me to.

But this time, I'm copying. I've been so stressed and overwhelmed that all I want to do is run off a few copies and relax. I don't have the time amidst all my other duties to write a focused and challenging test. (You might be noting that I have found time to blog.) So, here I go, off to the copier. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Do you have any fond test memories? I miss blue books, and wish I could use that with my Honors kids. Do they still use blue books in college? Sigh. Probably not. It's probably all digital.

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