some teachers just can't teach

I have had my fair share of tests. I have had my fair share of bad teachers who tell you that you just need to try harder, and good teachers who spend their days rebuilding your self confidence.

Kids who get discouraged because they do not do good on test, breaks my heart.

It took me until college to feel smart and to be told that tests don’t define you. It took me until college to find out that all the while when I thought I was stupid, and was told I just needed to try harder, I actually was dyslexic and had a learning disorder. It just took me longer to memorize and apply things. (In which somethings I will never use.) But none-the-less, I was forced to try to learn them, and then broken when I couldn’t understand it.

Now as a 23-year-old almost graduate with a degree in communications and journalism, I look back to those tests.

What have I learned from them? What was the point of them?

I have learned that I am not meant to be impressive on paper.

I am not meant to be understood by looking at my file or my class rank from high school.

I am not meant to be a statistic or a “She’s not going anywhere with her life.”

I am meant to be exactly who I grew up to be.

A strong, witty, caring, loud, bold, and SMART woman who can hold her own and doesn’t need a test to tell you I am smart.

When I was a senior in high school and applying for the small town little business scholarships, I didn’t receive one.  NOT ONE.

People who didn’t deserve some got many. People who were not nice got many. People who look good on paper got many.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people who did deserve those scholarships got some too.

But I went into college thinking I was just going to be below average, and have trouble understanding those classes too.

But turns out, I was going to excel.

It took 1 month for a professor to pull me aside and talk to me about my test scores.

She told me that I sit front row everyday, I answer all the questions, I participate and ask hard questions in a class that is all about brain function and considered one of the hardest for a freshman. But she couldn’t understand why I was failing my tests.

It took her 1 month to pull me into her office, look at my notes, realize they don’t make sense, ask me the questions I missed on my test, watch me answer each one perfectly, and then tell me that I am not stupid.

I was misunderstood.

I was smart.

I was just dyslexic.

I went through 12 years in classrooms everyday, with maybe 30 people, and they thought I was just not trying hard enough.

But it took her 1 month in a classroom of 60+ people, two times a week for an hour to pick it up.

After years of being told I just am not one of the smart kids, it took her 15 minutes in her office to tell me why I can’t learn like everyone else.

Because of her I learned to adapt my learning style, and the way I took tests.

Now I excel.

It just took that one professor to break my view of myself that tests and other crappy teachers and more test put into my head.

The tests said I was below average, but I was far from it.

Moral of this story;

Tests don’t tell you shit.

Jaimie Schmitz