Sometimes the paper fails us

As a part of the assessment which my Year 9 class are currently doing they need to present on a type of natural disaster. Now, as I told them when we started, there wouldn’t be any posters and it wasn’t the basic look at disaster types which you do in primary school. They were expected to look at them as a global issue, at how the response is managed by government and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them.

The task was a presentation of what they had discovered in their research – they were required to use PowerPoint (contrary to my last post), but they were not allowed to use more that 10 words per slide, and preferably none. The focus was on what they had to say, not their ability to read off the slide.

We are almost at the end of the presentations, and today I had one which stood out.

We dread that moment in a presentation when we lose the place we are up to, when we get flustered and don’t know where to look or what to do. A handled it well, she took a deep breath, put the pages down, and did her presentation without relying on her notes. So far she has been the only one and she did brilliantly – she was mortified that she felt that she had given less than her best, but in that moment I saw what she was capable of. And no, even though she asked if she could, I am not going to let her do it again. She did wonderfully.

And that was my happy moment of the day. The paper failed her, and she survived.

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