I have been working at my old school as an hourly teacher. In this position, I have done a variety of jobs including tutoring struggling students, substituting and monitoring for standardized tests. My least favorite task is monitoring standardized tests because it's just so dull. As a monitor for these tests, you are supposed to read the directions to the kids and make sure they aren't cheating. You also give them pencils and kleenex as needed. I've been testing one to six kids during these all-day tests. One kid is the worst because you really just sit there since you can't assist them with any answers and they definitely aren't cheating.
Last week I had to one-on-one test a boy I will call "Daniel." Daniel is a third grader in special ed. so I had to read the entire test to him. This was complicated by the fact that in addition to being a very sweet little boy, he has the attention span of a goldfish. The mornings weren't as bad as Daniel was very sleepy. I kept him awake by gently poking him with the eraser end of my pencil. I even let him take a little nap. After lunch, Daniel was far more alert. This turned out to be unfortunate. His mind wandered so often that I started writing down his comments.
Here is a transcript. Keep in mind that this was during a Math test and then a Science test I was reading aloud to him.
-I don't like peanut butter.
-Do you have a dog?
-Can I take a nap? (He'd already taken a nap that morning with me.)
-Can I play a game?
-I like to make noises.
-I have a bruise. Can I go see the nurse?
-I didn't know flying squirrels were real.
-When can I go back to class?
-I saw Mr. J go by. Can I say, hi?
-I want to go home already but I can't.
-Now can I go to the nurse?
-Mr. C has a toy microscope.
-How many pages do we have left?
-These are the last pages. I am going to read them inside my head. (Finishes six questions in 30 seconds).
-Ok, I pick this flashlight. (Not an answer choice).
-You know you want it!
-Do you want ice cream?
(Makes grunting noises) -That means, Ok
-Want a tweetie bird?
-Want an owl?
-You want ice cream?
-My legs are sleepy.
-If I don't know the answer, I just guess right?
-Is that Mr. C? Can I go check it out?
-My hand is back awake now.
-How many more questions?
His inattention was almost fascinating and would have been a lot more humorous if I wasn't trying to get him to finish his tests. In the end, the day certainly wasn't as boring as some testing days have been.
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