Saturday, March 15, 2014

Slice of Life - Day 15

On Friday morning, I sat in the English office at 7:30 a.m. waiting for the kids to start their last day of standardized testing.  I had already completed my duties as a P.P. and an S.P. (Primary proctor and Secondary proctor), so I could hide in the office and wait for silence to continue working on my R.E.S.A. (Resident Educator Summative Assessment).  The door was cracked a bit, and I could hear our principal out in the hallway wishing kids good luck on the social studies test.  I had no obligation to go out in that hallway, and for a moment I sat there deciding whether I, too should greet the kids.

I stood up and exited the office.  I didn't go out into the hall because my principal was there, and I wanted to make a good impression on him.  "Playing the game" is not something I actively engage in when I do not have to.  I went out into the hallway because I like greeting the students, and I wanted to give them my well-wishes and perhaps a little of my energy as they plowed through the last of the O.G.T.s (Ohio Graduation Test).  

As a natural cheerleader (and a coffee drinker), it is easy for me to feign excitement about things that aren't so terrific. My high school's football team rarely won a game, yet it always was effortless for me to put on a smile and encourage the crowd to cheer for the losing team. Standing in the hallway watching students drag themselves to their assigned classrooms, I used the same skill. Warm words of encouragement flowed from my mouth as I smiled with bright eyes when students passed by.  

Some students, those who don't have me, gave weak nods, perhaps because this weird lady was so hyper about tests in the morning. My students met my eyes and engaged in small conversation before heading to their final task of the week. 

With the last of the students trickling to their tests, I headed back to the office to take my own standardized test.  Of course there was dread in the back of my mind. The tedium of answering the same questions over and over is a game that I am forced to play. However, I disregarded my lack of desire and sat down to begin working.  

Is it fun or entertaining to do work that someone else deems important? Not at all. But sucking it up and doing it is a part of adult life.  Students have to learn this at some point, and perhaps an advantage of all these tests is that students will recognize that not everything in life is enjoyable, yet we still must perk up and plod on. 

Below is the song/cheer that I said to my students over the past several weeks.  I'm sure that it didn't make my students earn higher scores on their tests.  Instead, I hope that it motivated my students to keep a cheerful outlook on a rather bleak requirement of their lives.

Gonna pass the O.G.T.s
Gonna pass the O.G.T.s
Gonna pass the O.G.T.s
And then we'll say "Whopee!"


  1. Yes, "perk up and plod on." How can anything good from this low state? Hopefully some wonderful surprises. We are all in a tough situation.

  2. I think it's great that you went into the hallway and greeted the students! Some may have had a rough start to their day, and your smile made it better. Hope they did well on the OGTs, and may we rethink state testing.. quickly!