How many people can you fit in a phone booth?

First round of Big Standardized Test is over.  We did it in two days.  Two days of long testing sessions, morning and afternoon. My small group of extra time students frustrated. When you don’t understand what you read, it’s hard to write an essay.  Then they get extra time.  They could have used five minutes extra…not 27.  Sit silently for a half an hour. Nope, can’t draw. Nope, can’t read.  If they have nothing to do, maybe they will write more and better.  Don’t think so. So I walked around and shushed them and recited poetry in my head.

Okay, testing over, and I walk my testing group to lunch.  Eat lunch.  My 7th grade class appears — not at their usual time due to the  odd testing schedule.  After class I walk them to lunch.  The entire 7th grade is being walked to lunch at the same time by their exploratory teachers.  The entire 8th grade is in lunch, waiting to be picked up by their exploratory teachers.  It’s crowded.  “Move to the right!  Move to the right!”  We just might be able to move and then — half of the 6th graders are moving from the gym through the cafeteria back to their classrooms.  The other half is moving down the same hallway toward the gym. Yes, that’s right.  All 800 students and all of their teachers are trying to occupy the same space at the same time.  Eight hundred awkward early adolescents. If someone had yelled ‘fire’ we would have had a tragedy.

But the kids were  great.  Gym teachers with loud, boomy voices took over.  “Move right.”  “Back to the gym.”  “Back to class, 6th grade.”  Slowly the eighth graders moved north, the seventh graders south.  The halls cleared and the 6th graders moved.  Pushing stopped.  They waited until it was clear to move.  They didn’t yell or climb over one another.

Even after being stressed out with almost three hours in testing rooms and more to come, even with the whole day turned inside out, the kids were great.  So that’s my good thing.  Well, it’s always the good thing.  The kids are great.


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