The last week of April has come to mean a time of the school year when the world comes to a halt. All teachers and students stop down so that we can give the required state mandated tests. This year includes two versions The TAKS that is being phased out and the new STAAR test.
This week just symbolizes the level of absurdity that testing has reached. We spend a week in which students are not being educated, they are regurgitating what they were supposed to learn and know.
Teachers go brain dead because they are required to “actively monitor” students during testing. They are not allowed to read, check email, text, work on puzzles or anything else that will keep them from going brain dead. After 3 or 4 hours of active monitoring the teachers brains have turned to mush. To actively monitor is to circulate around the room, scan and otherwise observe the students during testing.
The weeks following testing are usually a time for survival. Students are of the mindset that since the tests have been taken, then the school year is over. Most teachers work hard to prepare good lessons and keep their students engaged. Sometimes it is much like trying to herd cats. All the best intentions don’t always get the job done.
Oh how I wish I had a good Sodoku or Crossword to work on….as my mind turns to mush.
Best of luck to all teachers and students. Teachers be sure to do something to stimulate your mind this week. After all, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”!