|Actually, this was not exactly high-stakes, but the attitude the kids had towards it was about the same.|
A large number of juniors were absent from the test on Wednesday. I was the proctor for what was supposed to be a group of 20 but only 15 bothered to show up. So about a quarter of the students or more elected not to take the test with their feet.
It was very warm in the testing room. The temperature on the room thermostat, which the teachers do not control, rose to about 81 degrees. We managed to find a couple of room fans, one of which is my own, to attempt to cool the kids down. Bottled water was provided, but it was not refrigerated.
Heads began to go down rather early in the test. TB put his head down at the start. IM complained about the heat and then decided to nap.
A few seemed to look upon the test as an opportunity for them to show how well they can perform on the test and/or get into college. Most, though, saw this as something they had to endure.'
I wonder if this is because we educators do not demand enough of these students, and so they are not prepared. Or has the culture of poverty, the hopelessness of these children so stunted their ambitions that they do not think this test is worth the effort it takes to perform well since they do not see that they can reap any rewards from it.
Despite all the problems I see, it did appear that most of the 15 students were making an effort to do well.
Then they begin to get restless. We started at 8:00am and ended at around 1 pm. We are doing the version of the test that has an essay component. Many students leave the essay blank, which is something they do when I give them a combination multiple choice/essay test. The essay portion has an extended bit of reading along with it. Many looked at the reading in the essay booklet and exclaimed, "Hell No!"
IM awakens from her nap and begin talking, in whispers, to her friend TT. I wanted them separated in class, but they were pretty good for most of the test. In the back, 3 boys start teasing each other.
Finally, we are through, and we go down to Media Center for lunch. The lunch crew provides a sack lunch for the students consisting of some lunch meat, a slice of cheese, white bread, and an apple. Fortunately, someone sprang for some pizza for the crew.
We will see what the results of the test are sometime in the future. We are about 20 days or so from the End Of Instruction Tests.