With four snow days in the last week, students are relishing their days off while teachers are restructuring their schedules for the coming weeks. But with AP exams shockingly just a little over two months away, teachers need to reevaluate what to do with the classroom time they have left.
Many students know the feeling of coming back to school after snow days and being overwhelmed by all of the makeup work and tests being thrust upon them, both missed tests and planned ones. However, some teachers, especially teachers of AP classes, should focus more on making up missed materials than missed assessments. In fact, the cancellation of tests shouldn’t be out of the question.
Making up tests instead of instructional time, given the limited amount of classes left before AP exams, pushes the burden to the students to not only be prepared for the test but also to learn the material that wasn’t covered in class. There are only so many days the actual learning can be pushed back before it’s too late. Taking out the full class period to give an assessment when more material needs to be covered is not the answer. The main focus of all teachers should first and foremost be to teach.
It is possible to evaluate students using other methods. Some teachers have already chosen to do take home tests. Shortened versions of the assessments are also an option, or a project of some kind.
Teachers shouldn’t waste class time, a resource quickly becoming limited, giving tests, which do not help students learn the material but simply test their knowledge. Snow day schedules should keep the long term in mind.