3.20.2012

It's Test-Taking Day!


Each year, same thing: a special meeting to train us to have the wherewithal to undergo the precise measures that must be taken on this very special test-taking day.

Each year, same thing: I wonder what dolt has actually done the things we're being told specifically not to do, unless we'd like to find work in another career path once next school year rolls around. I mean, they wouldn't tell us not to do it unless this had actually happened before, right?

So today, without further delay, I give you a day in the test administering life of my imagined version of the teacher that caused all this ruckus in the first place:

I wake up, squinting against the light coming in through the window.  Light? It mustn't be. The clock registers the amusing truth: it's late. Much later than it should be. I guess I had one too many drinks at Al's Drink Emporium last night. Shrugging, I amble through my morning. Let 'em wait, I always say!


When I reach the school, the halls are buzzing with activity. Kids scrambling to class, teachers milling in the hallways drinking coffee and chatting happily about the big day.


Oh that's right, I think to myself. It's test-taking day! I chuckle to myself at having forgotten this important day, and head to class to make sure my little sweethearts have arrived safely. After tossing a few orders out, I head to the office. Time to pick up our tests!


The halls are quiet now, so I slip into the teacher's lounge and rummage around for the coffee. It seems nobody had time to put on a fresh pot this morning, so I figure it's the least I can do to get one started. Once I have a nice steaming cuppa Joe, I check my mailbox. Empty. I head off to grab those tests.


My assistant principal is waiting for me, test packet in hand, toe tapping. He looks like he barely slept at all last night. 


"You were supposed to pick these up thirty minutes ago!" he glowers, "Hurry back to class! It's test-taking day!"


With a smile and a nod, I grab the tests and am on my way.  Eesh, I think, he sure is testy today. I can't help but chuckle at my little joke. I am so witty!


Back in class, I mumble good morning to the kids and start passing out tests. The sooner we start, the sooner it's over. May as well get going.  I have a list of kids that are supposed to have special accommodations, but I forgot to get the right materials, so I say a little prayer that they'll be okay without them. There's also a huge list of instructions I'm supposed to read, but what the heck -- they've seen this stuff before.


"Let's get this show on the road!" 


Pencils go up, booklets open. Heads snap down and begin reading through endless passages meant to measure their knowledge.


I love test-taking day. A nice full day of peace and quiet! I snap open my phone and check my Face Book page. There's a new comment thread on the latest movie, so I send my thoughts. I glance at the clock. Only two minutes have passed. This is going to be a long day. Good thing I brought along a nice, long book. Taking those few extra minutes to myself this morning is definitely going to pay off.


We're supposed to stand and roam the classroom, monitoring student progress. What a bore! I have a seat behind my desk and flip my laptop open. There's a great shoe sale on Target and I really need to update my Pinterest boards. Surely that will kill some time.


A hand pops up in the air. It's little Suzy.


"What is it?" I ask.


She motions for me to come over.


Great. These kids are always interrupting me! With a long sigh, I walk over to her desk.


"What's the problem?"


She tells me she doesn't understand a word in the passage she's reading. I explain what it means, pat her on the head and walk back to my desk. My good deed for the day. Besides, I feel a little bad that I didn't give her the reading overlay she's supposed to have. Oh well, lesson learned!


The rest of the morning passes fairly quickly. My phone rings a few times, but I silence it each time -- I certainly won't take any phone calls during a test! I have snacks and bottles of water set up in the back of the room, so the kids can get up and serve themselves when they need something. Sometimes they stop and chat a bit, which is a nice break for them, I think.


Just before lunch, I decide to order myself a pizza. All this test-taking business has really made me work up an appetite! When the pizza guy arrives, I tell the kids to leave their tests at their tables and grab their lunches. We sit around the room eating our food. On test-taking day, nobody eats in the lunchroom. Too loud. So we chat quietly, discussing the test and offering advice to each other. It's a real brainstorming session! By the time the kids get back to work, I think they feel pretty excited to finish the test.


It feels too quiet now, so I turn on the radio. Nothing like a little heavy metal to really get those brain juices flowing! A few kids look up in alarm, but once they realize it's just some good old fashioned rock and roll, they quickly get back to work.


I open my purse and grab a bottle of bubblegum pink nail polish. May as well use this time wisely! My nails could really use a new coat of color. I set to work applying the polish to my nails, determined not to notice the two kids in the corner whispering to each other.


Another hour passes and I realize I really need a bathroom break. I don't want to stop the kids in the middle of all their hard work, so I slip quietly out the door and head for the bathroom. I don't really like using the bathroom nearest my room -- the light flickers like I'm in a bad horror film -- so I go down to the next hall. I'll only be gone a minute, so I'm sure the kids will be fine.


By the time I get back to class, a few of the kids are all grouped together looking at each other's tests.


"Whoa, guys! What's going on in here?" I ask, surprised that they aren't still working.


They scramble back to their seats without another word.


Bobby, my very brightest student, informs me that he has finished his test. I grab it up and head back to my desk. He starts drawing pictures to pass the time. I glance over his work and see that although he circled all the answers in his test booklet, he hasn't bubbled in all the answers on his answer document. He's had such a long day of testing, I hate to bother him again. I grab a pencil and fill in the rest of the answers for him. Problem solved!


I realize I can use Bobby to help me out. I call him over and tell him that he's earned the special privilege of Official Test Monitor. I even give him a little badge to wear, made out of construction paper. I am really outdoing myself today!  Bobby spends the rest of the afternoon wandering through the class, keeping everybody in line. I think he really enjoys his new responsibility.


Slowly, all the kids turn in their tests. We're done! I congratulate the kids on their hard work and tell them they can have free time for the rest of the day. Cheers and hoots of celebration ring through the room. I mentally pat myself on the back for being so awesome. And while they're playing, I can give myself that pedicure I've desperately been needing. This is turning out to be one of the best test taking days of all time!


After looking through their work and grading all the tests myself, I hand all the huge bundle of tests and answer sheets to one of my most trustworthy students and ask him to run it down to the office.


Another test taking day successfully completed!

5 comments:

  1. What a funny spoof of "Test-Taking Day". Was the teacher dreaming the whole thing? This post would be fun to share with staff. It might help ease some test anxiety for teachers:)

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  2. This is absolutely wonderful! I sent a link to the counselors at my school who are in charge of testing. My favorite part-- "My phone rings a few times, but I silence it each time -- I certainly won't take any phone calls during a test!" You cracked me up! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Oh my goodness! I bet this was a fun post to write.

    Cathy

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  4. Glad you enjoyed it! It was a fun bit to play with. :)

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