When I turned 16, like most kids in the United States of America, I took my driver’s test–and, I failed. I went right through an uncontrolled intersection without blinking an eye–let alone slowing down to check for oncoming traffic (Luckily there was none). It was a miserable day for me. I tried making excuses but none justified the tragedy of failing. I simply did not perform well on that test, and I was devastated. I am quite thankful, however, that the man working for the Department of Motor Vehicles did not say “no second chances are allowed.” Rather, he said “When would you like to try again?” I am happy to announce that I am a fantastic driver today. I have never been in an accident nor have I incurred a traffic citation.
I tell every one of my students that story as I explain my policy on second chance tests/projects in my class. I let them know that I want them to learn the concept or improve the skill that I felt was important to teach and assess. That they can take a second chance test or rework the project (Not to be mistaken with a retake that is the same test or just blindly turning in multiple revisions of a project.) if they come to me and look at what went wrong the first time around and we discuss how they can improve. Continue reading