So, I took the Google Certified Level 2 Exam last year and failed it by 4 points. That stung.

I was embarrassed, I pouted, and felt sorry for myself. (Yes, my life is a living hell.)

But after a few hours, I got over myself and realized that this is a real learning experience. I thought about what failing feels like to my students. Do they feel the way I do when they fail?

The difference between their tests and mine was that I got another chance at the exam. You know I was prepared for it this time. The first exam showed me what skills I did poorly on, so naturally I will always remember those even more than the ones that came easily to me.

Shouldn't my students get another shot at tests in my class? Wouldn't they do much better the second time around? Retaking a test made a big difference in my learning, I think my students deserve that same opportunity. I’m going to allow more retaking of certain tests in my classroom. Mostly, I’m going to work on creating assessments that check for understanding without the pass/fail stigma attached to them.

Fast forward to this year. I took the test again. I was anxious; how embarrassing would it be if I failed again? I faced my fears, I studied harder this time, and with the help and support of my NYCDOE colleagues, I passed.

I learned so much, and not just from Google.

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