Introductory Challenge

This unit talks about ways paraprofessionals can help students improve their test-taking skills.  As you work through the unit, challenge yourself to think about what you would do to help a particular student who does poorly on tests.  You could either think about a student you work with or think about the student we have in mind—we’ll call her “Tara”— who was disappointed in her score on a big test she took recently. If you decide to use Tara as the student to focus on, think of her as a hardworking student with some learning challenges.  Imagine that Tara came to you because she feels comfortable asking you for help and knows that you’ll do your best to help her.  She tells you that she felt good before she took the test because she had studied hard for it.  But as she was taking the test, she felt less and less confident.  She felt like she knew much more than she was able to show in her answers to the test questions.  When she got her test score back, the score was so low that she felt like crying. Tara has good study habits, and you don’t want her to become discouraged and lose her motivation to study.  As you read and listen to the ideas in this unit, keep Tara—or a student you know—in mind and form a plan for what you could do and say to help make the next test score a confidence-building outcome rather than a disappointment.