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!!!!