Teacher to Teacher: Placement Tests
An honest discussion about remedial placement tests and what you can do to encourage your students.
What’s at Stake
Educators know that their first priority is seeing their students succeed. Whether it’s a future college decision, job application, or even general milestones of life, teachers look out for their students by day one. That’s why it can be so nerve-wracking to watch them tackle some of the toughest tests in their schooling careers: the Accuplacer and SAT exams. Even with the guidance you’ve fostered in the classroom, it may not serve as a comprehensive understanding of the world of academia and beyond. There are some barriers to teaching that exist beyond education and formal instruction, but these can be overcome with patience, persistence, and a compassionate attitude.
Confidence is Key
Remember, your students aren’t alone. They weren’t the first to go through exams like these, and they won’t be the last. But you are there to serve as a guide and mentor. After you’ve exhausted your repertoire of teaching fundamentals, it’s time for the proverbial pep talk. Sometimes all it takes for our students to thrive is showing them that we believe in their efforts, and that those efforts do not go unnoticed. Nurturing confidence is just about equally important to nurturing knowledge in our students!
Embodying a Teaching Figure
Teaching and reinforcing basic educational principles seems like a no-brainer, but your habits are another thing that will become ingrained in students’ minds. Your mannerisms and your kindness will inevitably rub off on them, so it’s important that you portray everything students need in a mentor! If you’re confident in their abilities, they’ll start to see themselves as able to take on anything. These tests are an important facet of any type of higher education, and every student is capable of mastering them. But they’ll look to you first to truly know their potential.
We know that our students don’t come from equal backgrounds; some will have advantages and opportunities that others do not. Recognizing this is as important as teaching itself, as these sometimes invisible forces manifest themselves in various ways. It is our duty to even the playing field through our teaching methods, in order for all of our students to find the right path to a fulfilling life.