Monday, June 10, 2013

One More

It was a curious assignment. A group quiz. Um, okay...

Finals are rapidly approaching. The class had been divided into groups so they could review. They'd been working together on a study guide.

I was to pass out this quiz to the whole class. They could discuss but not copy. Each student got his/her own quiz, and the group would get a score consisting of everyone's effort.

They had 20 minutes.

It was a middle school class, so I told them they had 15 minutes. (The lesson plan said give them 15-20 minutes.) A few needed the push. (I found students goofing off rather than working even after I explained the time limit.)

After 20 minutes, I called time.

Many loudly complained. Many tried to finish "one more". Only one student held on tight to his paper as I went to remove it from him.

He should have put down his pencil when I called time. He continued to work, as did many in the class. But everyone else relinquished their papers when I held out my hand for them.

Even after I'd collected everything, this boy kept after me. He asked me to give him his paper back. He only had one more he had to finish. He needed more time. His teacher always gave the class as much time as they needed to finish quizzes. They were only studying for the rest of the period, so it wasn't like there wasn't time for him to finish the quiz in class.

And on and on it went. I don't know why he thought this would work. I explained that his teacher said in the lesson plan that they were to only get 20 minutes (she even typed this in all caps), and that by the time I picked up their papers, they had gotten closer to 22 minutes to work on the quiz.

It got so bad that the rest of the students in his group wanted to distance themselves from him. For fear of blowback, I assume.

I got a chance to see the teacher at the end of the day. She asked how things went. I told her about the boy.

She was surprised who had given me these issues. She said he was a good boy. A studious boy. And then it hit her--he was rather worried about his grade in the class. He's an 8th grader. End of the year stuff is coming up, and he's worried about being allowed to participate.

The other thing: the teacher didn't think they would finish the quiz.  

Ah well. I'm sure he didn't do as badly (or the quiz counted as much) as he feared.


  1. I never gave a class a group quiz before. I did have a student once who would write down an answer and then immediately ask me if that was the answer for which I'd been looking. So much fun.

  2. So "Through the Wormhole" started up again last week. What did you think of the idea that to be truly human, one needed to have self-awareness? I thought that was a very interesting premise based upon the whole idea that "babies don't blush."

  3. I wish teachers would just make it easy for subs. I think end-of-the-year test pressure is harder on kids than some people realize.

    Ah, tomorrow's another day.

    What do you do in the summer?

  4. So much pressure to step into a situation like that and be told one thing by the teacher and another by a student. Did I miss why you were subbing if the "regular" teacher was on campus?

    VR Barkowski

  5. Jeez, it seems kind of unfair to give a quiz they can't finish. I hope it really didn't count much. (Well, grades are the only thing that matters :P)

  6. LOL! I would have been that kid--most paranoid about grades. Even received an award for it in 9th grade. Geez.


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