“It’s NOT FAIR!”

Different  from the school system in the USA, in the Netherlands kids at the age of twelve leave primary school to go to some sort of Middle School. We have different kinds of Middle Schools, dependent on what level the kids can learn. My pupils all have learning difficulties and all have a lower IQ (Between 60 and 85).

Of course they all have their wish list of school they like to go to but  not everything is possible. We usually start talking to parents about the next school when their child turns ten, so they can mentally prepare for what is to come. But even though we are a special school many parents still believe their loveliest will be able to attend a regular Middle School.  And some will, but not in my class.  So  I have to make sure children AND parents understand the possibilities.

To help them to go where they need to be I have to take a whole lot of tests next November.  So I have to “train”  them to take these tests  as they are all National Tests and not our own school tests.  Believe me, the kids are in shock!

Today I gave a Language test. We trained for it for weeks, had a “let’s try this” test yesterday and today was the “real” test. Part one … underline the verbs.  Really, some looked at me as if they never heard the word “verb” in their life. It was dramatic! Here follows a real conversation I had today …

Child: “Do we really have to know this? You never taught us!”

I: “Yes, I did. Two years ago, last year and the last couple of weeks … ”

Child: “But Miss, I can’t take this test. I don’t know what it is. ”

I: “Well, we covered this material for weeks now.  You should know it now.”

Child: “But I don’t! You HAVE to help me. I’m not doing this test. You can’t make me. It’s NOT FAIR!” *throws pencil through class room*

Sigh … the tests are four weeks from now. HELP!!!!

Categories: Children, Education, Netherlands, School | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on ““It’s NOT FAIR!”

  1. I always think of one day whenever I hear “It’s Not Fair!” I had ‘fair day’ with my kids one day because I was tired of hearing that all the time. Someone got something someone else didn’t. He has this but I have that. I was sick of it. So I told them that this day, everything was going to be fair. They were overjoyed! However…. every time one went to the bathroom, I made the other go. If one got a drink of water, the other one had to. If one was watching a tv show the other had to watch. They coughed together, tied shoes together, ate together… I rode them for hours, making each do something that the other had just done- to be ‘fair’ about it! They begged for mercy after several hours! Even now (probably 18 years later) if one of them says “it’s just not fair” I quickly say “but I can make it fair.” Usually, they say “that’s ok, never mind.” The lesson: we all get what we need, not necessarily everything the other one has. And that’s ok.

    I know this doesn’t really apply in this case, but it is still a great story. I feel for your students, in that testing is awful, especially if you don’t feel prepared. And they have been prepared. Prayers for you all!

    • Awesome! I love it! Maybe I should do that one day in class, LOL!
      In my family we used (and still use) to say, “You have the right to enjoy some injustice.” But it sounds better in Dutch , lol.

  2. Test anxiety is rampant, eh?

    • It’s bad at the moment. I’ll be glad when this is over … in January, when all is said and done and discussed with the parents.

      • I live with two who suffer from test anxiety. Only one of them is a student. I too am glad when the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks come along.

  3. *laughing* Janeen, that is brilliant!

    Riete, better you than me. Someone throws a pencil, I throw something bigger. ha!

  4. Facing up to reality. :-)

    A tendency to throw pencils at verbs could be an indicator of what direction to take in the future.

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