This week I proctored the Ohio Graduation Test to fifteen of my favorite little people ever (forgive me for the little bit of sarcasm that still creeps in now and then!) and I got to see some of them AGAIN at the end of the day for a grand total of 5 out of 7.5 working hours. It…made me want to burn my teaching license at times. Proctoring may not seem like a big deal, especially because I had a pretty good group of kids behavior-wise, and all I really had to do was read the same stilted directions five times, distribute water and mints, and provide tissues. But there it is still something emotionally and mentally demanding about being “on” almost the entire day. This semester I have lunch duty 5th, and two of my girls like to come in to my room during their 7th period lunch, so I literally had one hour a day with no children. By the time 8/9 rolled around, I was exhausted and my kids were wound up like nothing else, testers and non-testers alike. At one point I realized that they weren’t in the mood to learn or work, so we did some class-bonding activities like 2 Lies and 1 Truth and Little Known Facts, just because I had to remind myself why, oh why, I was there in the first place.
But our guidance counselor did say something that brightened my view of the whole ordeal. She told me that my easygoing attitude (ha!) helped the kids relax, which is helpful since I think test anxiety is a bigger issue for our kids than in higher-performing districts. And that just helped me keep in mind that at the end of the day, I am here to show these kids that I’m on their side and want them to succeed.