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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | What I’ll Be Doing …

What I’ll Be Doing …

… For the Next Three Weeks is this:

  • Count test booklets and answer booklets every morning
  • Distribute pencils, rulers, scrap paper
  • Read tedious instructions
  • Walk up and down the aisles for 60-90 minutes
That last part is actually more appealing than usual this year. Normally, I hate it. It’s not acceptable for me to sit at my desk and correct papers, and I’m thinking that walking around reading my Kindle probably doesn’t engender a sense of vigilance either. Looking over the kids’ shoulders just annoys them – so how do I plan to occupy my time while I proctor the tests?
Well, I have two ideas on the boil right now, both of which are nothing more than a list of plot elements on my computer. Obviously I can’t sit down and write, but I can churn ideas, brainstorm, visualize, and dream. Maybe by the end of this year’s state testing, I can have both ideas hammered out into – (well, I’m not really an outliner) – something that is outline-ish.
Of course, this will all happen in between fetching sharpened pencils, making sure students are filling in bubbles on the correct page, and responding to raised hands with comments like: “Gee, I’m sorry you find that question confusing, but I can’t help you with it. Please try reading it again and just do your best.” (Flash big smile, pat on back)
  • Collect the pencils, rulers, scrap paper, and tests
  • Re-count the test booklets and answer booklets (yeah, we really have to)
  • Give the students a little break time
  • Teach a compressed schedule of classes for the rest of the day while the students make big, sad eyes at me and act like I’m Hitler
In my defense – I really do have to teach every day. I mean that literally. I have to teach in self-defense. The students think that in reward for taking the state tests, they should have nothing but recess, movies, and snacks for the rest of the day. But it only takes about 2 hours from the distribution of materials to collection of same. I cannot let them run amok for the remaining 5 ½ hours of the day!
I’ll do the best I can to plan some reasonably fun learning activities, but education goes on – even in the face of state testing.

10 Responses to What I’ll Be Doing …

  1. I was going to say you could always brainstorm ideas for books. You beat me to it. 😀

  2. Linda G. says:

    Not only can you brainstorm, but surely all that walking around the room counts as your exercise for the day?

  3. Katie Mills says:

    I love day dreaming. IN the passanger seat of the car or while doing dishes is when my brain seems to be at its most imaginitive…Good luck with the testing! I don’t envy you that!

  4. idea brainstorming – awesome use of time! That is how I justify cleaning… always get my best ideas when I’m stuck doing something tedious!

  5. KLM says:

    See, this is why we do these tests in late-May. My daughter’s fifth grade teacher said that they practically BEGGED on bended knee to move the SOL to later in the school year because once the kids are done with the standardized tests, they just completely check out.

    Proctoring. Such an interesting word. Is there some connection to proctlogical? Seems like there must be. As in, “a pain in the a…”

  6. mshatch says:

    see, this is what I have a problem with: a kid not being able to ask for a little clarification? How in the world does that prepare kids for life? Because unless you’re stuck like that guy in 127 hours there’s probably going to be someone around you can ask help of if you don’t get it. right? stupid tests. I do NOT envy you the least.

  7. Lenny Lee* says:

    hi miss dianne! for sure i could tell you dont much like being boss over those tests. that day dreaming sounds real good and you could maybe get a whole story pretty much planned out in your head. i hope you could still like being a teacher even if you dont like that test stuff.
    …hugs from lenny

  8. Becca says:

    ah yes, March means testing, doesn’t it. Just tell them that when they reach high school, they’ll get to come to school three hours later.

    But that’s a great idea. Not having to do anything is the perfect time to brainstorm.

  9. I always enjoyed testing…It was my kiddos time to shine. I enjoyed the afternoons too….power teaching the state and national standards in creative ways. We did board races in lots of subjects or baseball.

    Happy testing and brain storming!

  10. To Diane

    10 things you can do during PSSA testing…


    It was too long to post here 🙂

    Good luck.