Boy do I know how my students feel about testing now! And I don't mean the TAKS test either!
In my seminary class, I just finished taking the midterm exam. I studied and studied. I memorized all kinds of information (only because I knew the test contained lots of detail). I quizzed myself. I outlined nine chapters. I had my poor family members quiz me - including my son during a three hour car trip back from San Antonio.
And how did I do? I got a 73.5!
I was crushed. I came out of that test feeling like I had done well. I knew I had worked hard...but more importantly I also knew I had studied intelligently and with a plan.
All for a 73.5!
Since this test, I have told myself (and I have had others tell me) it is not the grade...it is what you learn. As a teacher I know that is true. I have certainly learned a lot. But there is something about a good grade when you work hard that is most satisfying. And some day when I can attend seminary full time, I would like a transcript that reflects hard work. And a 73.5 doesn't exactly tell the whole story.
So what to do? Well...I guess I will read even more carefully. I will take copious notes in class and review them. I will ask my fellow classmates for help. I will put myself into my research paper with my whole heart.
And when my own students tell me they really tried hard on a test I give them...and they fail it anyway...I will believe them!
P.S. - I got an A on the final in this class. I also got an A on my research paper. So even with the bad grade on the midterm, I still got an A- for the course...not too shabby!