Friday, March 7, 2008

TAKS Testing, Ninth Graders & Lions

Somehow I’ve got to get my FunnyBack. If you find it, let me know.

I lost it sometime after my Austin trip, but definitely before the great March blizzard of 2008 that forced (much to the delight of everyone involved) a two-hour delay of school on Friday–and all for a picturesque dusting of snow. Ah, just another reason to love Texas.

I guess I probably lost it–my FunnyBack that is, not my mind nor the snow–somewhere in the vicinity of administering the state mandated ELA TAKS test. (Don’t you just hate it when your conversation starts to sound rather alphabet-soupish?)

OK, so let’s get back to the administration of the test.

I had ninth graders.

They finished way before the 10th graders.

And they finished way, way, way–did I say way?– before the 11th graders.

Our lucky 12th graders and their homeroom teachers got to spend the day noshing and reminiscing at the senior breakfast.

Did I mention I had ninth graders?

They finished way before 10th graders.

And they finished way, way, way, way before those 11th graders.

Ninth graders.

I felt much like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible when he receives his assignment…

“Your mission, should you decide to accept it…”

Except I don’t recall this mission being optional.

And, I’m pretty sure Mr. Super Spy Ethan Hunt, once he discovered the mission was to keep a room full of beady-eyed ninth graders quiet for no less than three hours after they finished their test, would have said, “No siree” and high-tailed it out of there. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure he never would have survived for M:I2 or M:I3.

In Mission Impossible, the powers-that-be say they will “disavow any knowledge,” and of course, all evidence self-destructs in seconds.

Did I mention I had ninth graders?

And I had to keep them quiet for no less than three hours?

Next time just throw me to the lions and let’s call it a day.


Anonymous said...

The eggs were green and I didn't even win any door prizes.

askthehomediva said...

Father Ronaldus,
Green eggs (and ham?) and no door prizes at the senior breakfast still would be better than trying to keep beady-eyed ninth graders quiet for three hours, don't you think?

HappyChyck said...

I had a similar experience last week while testing middle school students. Just so you know, the only way I can tolerate middle school is because I can tolerate 9th graders. They are basically the same. For four days in a row my first period class came in for a regular class. Then I kept them for testing. It's much the same in my school: we keep the students until everyone is finished. My students were always finished 60-90 minutes before admin released us to continue on with our day. I had to look at and smell them for 3 1/2 hours each day. On the last day, we were together for 5 1/2 hours! I used to like those kids, but not so much after last week.

askthehomediva said...

Oh my goodness, amazing you have any shred of sanity left at all.

100 Farmers said...

They moved me out of my classroom to a clasroom two doors down. Huh? The only blessing is that they sent my 9th graders two floors down and four hallways away. I got to test 11th graders. Sweet! I hate TAKS TESTING!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. Give me their names and social security numbers. I'll take care of it.

Mister Teacher said...

What district do you work in again? I know it's not Dallas, as we got no delay of any sort on Friday. Though I DID get to throw snowballs at kids during my crosswalk duty.
I had 4th graders on TAKS day, and they were pretty good about reading quietly after the test. Except for the noisy snorers.

askthehomediva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
askthehomediva said...

Mister teacher,
I think trying to keep any age kiddos quiet for three hours after they have completed a test is a daunting task at best. It's asking an awful lot, but mission accomplished.

Anonymous said...

I can think of plenty of ways to keep 9th graders quiet, but it would all entail Things That Will Get You Fired. So, maybe the school should distribute Ipods (with pre-approved music) so the kids can be entertained for a bit.

Kelly Curtis said...

Great post - and your commenters are awesome. I stumbled you.

Here via COE - my post on Flat Stanley is included this week.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain.

No, really, I do!

My previous school (last year) separated the kids by math class... and since this was HS, I had 9th, 10th, and 11th graders in the same class.

Who all had DIFFERENT tests to take.

And the 10th graders had an extra section.

And I had a ADHD kid who could NOT sit still or keep quite for more than 5 minutes.

There's NOTHING as special as trying to keep 34 kids silent on one side of the room while you have 8 kids on the other side taking a test. For 3 hours. While the hyper 17 year old is bouncing up every couple of minutes and asking to go to the bathroom (requires calling security. Again. AND waiting for them to show up.)/get a drink/latest excuse to leave the room and/or cause a ruckus.

I needed a vacation after that. Kids probably did too.