I'm afraid the term "Jumping through hoops" has taken on a whole new meaning. In any job, one is expected to make certain accomodations, some utterly ridiculous, yet always required by upper management. This is certainly not unusual in the teaching field. However, the one that was passed down to us today takes the cake.
With the TAKS reading test just over a week away, we have been told that all desks must be in row, with all students facing the same direction. Now this might not seem like such a big deal to the casual observer, but I think that most teachers would throw out comments ranging from "absurd" to "unfeasible" to "@%#("
I know a lot of teachers who use a horse-shoe pattern of desks in their rooms. I myself have a pattern that resembles two mirror-image "E"s (the desks on the long side of the E are perpendicular to the short sides). Heck, my partner has round tables in her room! How are all of the kids going to face the same way over there??
I think that the idea behind this innovative thought is that it will reduce cheating on test day. It won't. When we take tests, we spread the desks all around the room, up against walls, facing different ways, and well apart from each other. Moving them all into neat, tight little rows will give the kids an even clearer view of the person in front of them, and probably the person next to them too.
But let the games begin! This is supposed to go into effect on Monday, so we'll see just how darn effective it is for the week leading up to the exam.
On a side note: I saw a movie last night called Lord of War. It's about an illegal arms dealer who sells guns to violent dictators of small countries, allowing them to wipe out their enemies and rival cultures. Unfortunately, the movie was not nearly as hilarious as the premise suggested. My rating: Two middle fingers up.