Make-ups I was sitting in a classroom in a neighboring town recently and saw a poster that read, “In real life there are no make-up exams.” I read that poster several times since it was in my line of sight. I became more and more angry with each each reading. What message is this sending to the students in the classroom? What message is it sending to me? It’s been sitting in my craw for weeks so I am purging my thoughts here.

  1. As an educator, I don’t believe in the philosophy behind this message. I do believe in letting kids make up the exam* until they can prove they’ve learned the material.
  2. School is “real life” for many of us: students, teachers, administrators, classified staff. Treating “real life” as special and separate from school, i.e. kids’ experiences, has triggered me forever.
  3. Life is a series of lessons learned over and over until we master them. I’ve had my fair share of make-up exams, whether in relationships, in work, at home, certainly as a parent, and so on.
  4. I made this image as a visual response to the poster in the classroom.


*Let “exam” equal any type of assessment or life lesson.