“Would you mind proctoring a test today?” After recent staff cuts, the learning center was a hive of activity. Learners in all three classes had been tested yesterday, but those who were absent still needed testing, so I pulled them from their respective classes. These CASAS tests are administered periodically; they determine if a learner can advance to the next level, and the collective results greatly impact programmatic funding.
Things went really well, though while I was explaining the directions and administering the sample questions, one learner was completely flabbergasted. I tried to explain how to fill in his answer sheet, but he stared at me blankly. Luckily, there were two women sitting in the near vicinity that spoke his native language, so they were able to quickly relay how to pencil in the bubbles as I supervised. Normally, learners are strongly discouraged from using their native language in class, but in this instance, it was helpful to expedite the process as the rest of the students were waiting for me to begin the test.
After the quick tutorial from his peers, the learner appeared to be at ease for the rest of the testing period, but it was a good reminder to exhibit sensitivity for the variety of educational backgrounds in the classroom. Whereas a multiple choice bubble answer sheet seems like second nature to me, many adults are unfamiliar with testing procedures.