Part of my job is to assess the learning potential of some of the kids who attend my school. That’s teacher-talk for “giving an IQ test”. Not a real, full-fledged one, oh no, this would be just a brief, abridged version of a full one. I’m not qualified to administer and interpret the complete test, not being a psychologist with the accompanying thousand years of post-secondary education. I am only able to conduct the smaller test, despite being simply a lowly teacher with only five years of university. Fortunately, they are the right type of five years of university in order to be deemed capable by – oh, I don’t know who. Maybe the IQ test fairies?
Anyway, once I score this baby brother of the standard IQ test, I then administer the academic achievement tests. These measure a kid’s current performance in reading, writing and math. Then I compare the results of the two kinds of tests. Normally, academic performance matches learning potential, more or less. But sometimes, performance is far below what would be expected based upon the measured potential. When that happens, I suspect those kids of having serious learning disabilities. Those are the kids who I refer for further testing by our school psychologist – you know, the real qualified professionals.
So that’s what I was doing all morning today. Today. The day the elementary school set was celebrating one of its favourite holidays: Halloween. The day 99% of the population 12 and under wore a costume to school. The day every single classroom had a party in the afternoon, if not all day. The day every single kid was effing WIRED on excitement and sugar.
And brilliant me decided to test today. Perfect.
Still, there was a silver lining. I did get to laugh loud and long – but inside my head, of course.
One girl was plodding through the reading part of the academic achievement test. She had to read aloud lists of words, with absolutely no help or encouragement from me. One of the words she struggled with was “hour”.
And how did she end up reading that word?
The kid is nine. And she was dressed as a cat.