Carrie Jenkins Kamm

Carrie Jenkins Kamm

Susan Graham

Susan Graham

Qiahna G. Williams

Qiahna G. Williams

 
Do you struggle to keep students focused? Do you want advice on how to handle a recurring classroom management challenge in your K-12 classroom? Post your questions below in the Comments section to get advice from experienced teachers. Selected questions will be answered in upcoming issues of Horizons.

How do you handle the middle school or high school student who constantly states that she knows the material but refuses to demonstrate this knowledge on a test? — Norman Abshear

Before responding to the student, consider asking yourself, “Why won’t she try?” Is it possible that:

    She doesn’t know the content and thinks she’ll fail? She knows the content but can’t deal with the test? She knows the content but thinks the test will not accurately reflect her learning? She knows the content but refuses to take the test for a personal reason? She knows the content but is using this as a power struggle?

The rest of the class still needs to take that test, so try to postpone the conversation with this student. Could you suggest a trip to the nurse, counselor, or library? Checking with her other teachers and counselor might reveal some extenuating circumstance or a pattern of test resistance. If you contact parents, think about letting the student know in advance. It’s important to give her some control. In the meantime, it’s wise to document everything.

This takes a lot of time and effort. But it also means you

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