Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TAKS Tuesday

Today is TAKS testing day. TAKS testing day is a beating. I can't begin to describe how much I dislike it.

We go through training every single time we give the test. This means when we give another round of testing in approximately ONE FREAKING MONTH, we'll have to sit through training again. Oh, the pain of it all. It is the same set of instructions every single time. Our administration is crazed about the TAKS guidelines. I don't know if it is a fever passed down from TEA or their own freakish nature gone wrong. Every time a new rule emerges, we know it is a knee-jerk reaction to a "testing Infraction" that occurred "in another district." And woe be to the person that has a testing infraction. He/she will find a mountain of paperwork awaits, including filling out the "incident" report in triplicate with, I'm just certain, an extra copy for God. Oh, and most likely the person that has the misfortune of being anywhere near when the testing infraction occurs will find his/her teaching certificate being ripped away like hair off a new army recruits head. Gone. Total Certifiable Bullshit.

So, for 3 1/2 hours, 2 teachers in each room move continually about "active monitoring" as the kids test and probably get annoyed with the constant movement of the two freaking teachers.

One of our latest instructions is that we are not to have inflection in our voices when reading the instructions at the beginning of the testing period. Thank heavens I am the 2nd proctor and therefore not responsible for the reading of instructions. I don't think I'm capable of reading without inflection. My partner (a science teacher) has the deadpan voice down pat. He has almost put me to sleep.

Ok, they have made such a big deal of the horror of the testing infractions that I couldn't bear to keep my phone in the room. I had to go put it in my office. All I need to is to get fired for my phone vibrating. That would be stupendous.

The kids are now working diligently because a) they are good kids and b) even if it is a stupid test they are going to do their best because, well, they are good kids.

We still have two hours left. This is agony. You cannot imagine the boredom, except that if you are reading this I am bringing you along on the painful journey of boredom. Thanks for coming. It's like watching paint peel . . . or kids test . . . or sloths move. (Ok, sloths are fun to watch cause it's like a slo mo movie but this is making my eyelids twitch.)

This is crap.

One of the assistant principals just walked by. He is so lucky I don't own a gun. And I LIKE him. I made the international sign of "I'm having a great time." Gun to head, people. Gun to head.

9:38 I'm wearing a pair of pants that are 2 sizes too big. However, they are strangley short. I keep pulling them down because I've decided a saggy ass is better than high waters.

9:40 My partner has left to do something. . . anything but stare at the backs of 18 heads that are staring at the tests.

9:42 By now you should feel a nervous inkling that this is the post that will never end. Rightly so, because time has practically stopped in the room of TAKS testing. Feel my pain.

9:45 There is a strangely bad smell in this corner of the room, I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure it is one of the boys. Good grief. We are in the land of plenty, How is it possible there's a kid with this kind of hygiene? This early in the morning? Yikes.

9:47 Student needed to potty . . .had to wait for an escort. I love TAKS testing.

9:49 Third student finishes this stupid excuse of a test. Wee have until 11:55!!!!

9:50 1st text proctor returns. Looks no more excited to be here than when he left. Clearly, he failed to take advantage of secret stash of vodka he must have in his desk drawer. I mean, we all have that right?

9:53 Required to have 1 Thesaurus for every 5 students. I begin looking up synonyms for really boring. Really- In truth, actually, fairly, genuinely, indeed, positively, truly, truthfully, verily

boring bore to fatigue with dullness or tedium
Arousing no interest or curiosity: drear, dreary, dry, dull, humdrum, irksome, monotonous, stuffy, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting, weariful, wearisome, weary.

Even the synonyms put me to sleep.

9:56 A student accidentally pushes a dictionary off of his desk. That's the most interesting thing to happen in the last 2 hours. Student apologizes. I want to cry.

10:00 Principal walks by window. Fails to appreciate how close to the edge I am.

10:02 4th student sneezes in 2 hours. I'm pretty sure it's a code. Must decipher soon.

10:03 Student clears throat. This cheating must be stopped.

10:05 Thought I would list synonyms for penis, but it's not in the thesaurus. What does this mean? Vagina isn't either. What kind of crappy ass Thesaurus is this? Suicidal isn't listed either. I say do NOT buy Roget's II New Thesaurus 3rd edition. It totally sucks.

10:20 After a brief expeditious escape break out to get cheeze its , water and a potty break, I return recrudesce (totally the wrong word, but I don't care . . . did I mention this Thesaurus sucks?)

10:28 I study the Cheez-its packaging. Baked check. (cause you know what fried does to me.) Nutritional facts: 160 cal and 8 grams of fat . . . not bad until you realize there are 2 servings. Tricky bastards. These are the peopel that probably cheated on the TAKS test and caused testing irregularities.

10:29 Going for a Cheez-it, the bag makes a noise. Student looks at me. Testing irregularity? Is this it? The end of a teaching career because I couldn't keep my hand out of the Cheez-it bag?

10:35 I begin contemplating what I could have done in a former life to possiblfy deserve this punishment. It's like Chinese water torture. Tehre is nothing. Jack the Ripper couldn't earn this punishment.

10:37 Smelly kid scent is now wafting towards me. I may up-chuck my Cheez-its.

10:39 My bordeom can only be equalled byt he student reading The Encyclopedia of Vitamin Supplements. Obviously, he is bored. I could read, but then I wouldn't be actively monitoring. Sigh.

4 students now sleeping. Oh, how I envy them.

10:44 Another nods off, wait, no, that was me.

10:45 I'm just realizing for the first time ever, not one student in the testing room has been in one of my classes. Apparently the end of the alphabet is not big on yearbook. Go figure.

11:12 Praise the Lord. Girl with broken foot needed to go tot he nurse to take medicine. Got to go with her. (Just in case broken foot was a ruse and she really planned to scream answers through the hallway.) Woudl have tripped her to extend time out of room if I didn't fear it would be a testing irregularity. 2 Asian girls in clear competition to see who could be the last one done. Not a lot of fun for the rest of us forced to remain quiet as long as tests are out.

11:30 Asian girl in corner wins. Controlling the urge to walk over to her rip the test of of her hands and yell "For Pete's sake, enough is enough. Finish the damn thing," I instead stare.

Please note great self-control being shown here.

11:35 20 minutes to go. Is it possible? Are we that close? Will the Asian girl in the corner EVER finish?

11:38 It is a miracle. Everyone is done!!

11:50 Bell rings 5 minutes early. I begin screaming, "Get out, get out, before they realize their mistake."

And that is how a morning can get shot to Hell.

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