… 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.