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  • sporwalmonkey

"the sidduboat test."

>> witness the "sidduboat"^ test - all jokes aside, I truly felt my 6-year-old sister was taught in a black-and-white world where all that mattered was basic arithmetic. What about telling time? What about geography? What about logical reasoning!? And so this began.


As a student you spend countless hours learning through worksheets, whether they be provided by your fifth grade teacher for learning long division…or an SAT cram class you absolutely despise. At face value you won't know how long each'll take. You could just solve your three long division problems in a minute if you're a prodigy, a fifth-grade math whiz. Or you could finish your SAT Reading passage in twenty, toddling 7 minutes above the suggested thirteen as the slow tortoise you always were.

But whatever the worksheet is, it's most likely been commercially distributed in some way. The worksheet from fifth grade with bales of apples ready to be batched off in pencil-drawn circles? That was from, the one-stop shop for your exhausted teacher who'd rather be floating in hammock of a Maldivian villa. And the SAT Reading passage on Jhumpa Lahiri's childhood vacations? That's from your teacher Theresa of Huntington Education*, who printed the passage off an older QAS (now you wonder whether she (a) secretly works for College Board or (b) follows r/SAT).

The point I'm trying to make is that worksheets today are effortlessly and shamelessly provided to students without any respect to their learning needs. With this, personalized learning gets sacrificed for efficiency, and--as the idea harks back to Sal Khan's Ted Talk--students lose the opportunity to (1) revise and (2) prepare for future concepts (try solving an integral without knowing basic exponent rules…).

So how do we solve this problem? There's a solution - either the world needs more worksheets, or the world just needs teachers invested in teaching their students. I've hoped--and aimed--for the latter with my "sidduboat"^ tests. ◆


* I've never been to Huntington so I wouldn't know if this is true or not 😉

^ a little joke name that has stuck; horrible autocorrect of "siddu beta."

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