Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I had to venture back into the valley of the shadow of death (aka, the 5th grade hallway) to administer the second round of TAKS tests. The kids who didn't pass their reading and/or math tests the first time around "get" another chance to pass. I had a group of 13 each day (9 were the same both days, 4 swapped out since they only failed one of the tests), and my class had a sub.
I'll state right up front that a few of these kids really DID seem to care that they hadn't passed, and these kids looked like they were making a valiant effort to pass this second time around. More than a handful of them, though, obviously didn't care one bit that they hadn't passed the first time, and this was just another day to be lazy for them.
Here are a few highlights:
-- One kid kept falling asleep, before 10 am even, and when I asked him what time he had gone to bed the night before, he had no idea. Not a good sign for the math test if you can't even read a clock.
-- Any time two molecules bumped against each other, there was apparently enough noise generated for all of the kids to stop working and look around the room.
-- There was no bathroom monitor on the hallway, so the kids were even more prone than ever to want to go to the bathroom 6-10 times an hour.
-- One kid broke 3 pencils in the first 2 hours, before I threatened that he'd have to use a crayon on his test if he broke another.
-- One boy asked to use the bathroom, and I told him yes, but he needed to be back in his seat in 2 minutes. He was able to do this. 15 minutes later, he asked to use the restroom again. I said, "No, you just went 15 minutes ago!" He answered, "I gotta do something else now!" I still said no, and he spent the next 2o minutes bent over in his chair, grabbing his ankles.
-- After lunch, I passed the tests back out to the kids. One kid's test had barely touched his desk when he was already raising his hand to tell me he was done. Way to take the advice, "Don't turn in your test before lunch" to the absolute letter!! (Turns out he had forgotten to fill in one answer on his bubble sheet, and it took him another hour -- and 3 more attempts to turn it in -- before he finally found it.)
-- One kid, after turning in his test, zipped his jacket up over his head and began swaying and rocking, at one point, hitting himself in the face several times. I didn't stop him because I didn't see how it was possible for him to actually lower his intellect that way.
Today, by comparison, was heavenly. I was back with my own kids, and they were happy to see me, and the feeling was mutual.