Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How do teachers manage?

I administered GED tests yesterday to 17 "Alternative school" students. They are bright, personable people taken individually, but when they congregate, a gestalt occurs and produces a what - personality change? Mob mentality? Veil of idiocy? We have a script that we read from to make sure they all get all the information. We tell them the same things at least two different ways. And they still get it wrong. Are these kids so poor that they can't afford to pay attention?

And how frustrating it must be for them, trying to sort out priorities (should I pay attention to this old woman nattering on at me about this dumb stuff, or should I pay attention to what Lissie is whispering?) Trying to find happiness (I want to be a professional skateboarder and make millions, going on tour and being surrounded with totally hot groupies) is dating (I want to get married and have babies.) And analyzing the major products of Brazil just isn't that important to them. They are not fully in touch with reality because teens rarely are.

I have control issues with this group. They are basically honest, and can't understand why I won't let them use their phones for text messages while they are testing. I'm such a harsh old meanie. Or why they need to show photo ID before testing. Or why they can't whisper a few messages to their buddies who are still testing when they leave the room.

At least they have a couple of really good instructors. People who tell them, "In life, you have to get used to jumping through hoops for the government. The better you get at hoop jumping, the easier life will be for you."

So I'm off again to administer more tests. Oh joy.


  • At 8:26 AM , Blogger Willow said...

    Mob mentality.
    I used to teach US History to high school juniors...will this be on the test? and what difference will this ever make in my life?
    Could you test fewer people at a time? I hesitated about what to call adults? (certainly not!) individuals? well, most of them aren't, yet.
    DD Deb teaches the middle school students who get suspended or kicked out of class. She has her own closed, with security guard, classroom. Most interesting. When I was in mid. sch. my biggest worry was having to wear knee high socks when I wanted to wear peds! These children wear police anklets because they are on probation.

  • At 9:23 AM , Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

    Yikes to what Willow said.
    Peer pressure, even among strangers from the same social classes?
    Is this parochial school you're teaching??? Sounds like none of those kids ever heard the word "No" before.

  • At 12:17 PM , Blogger Lucia said...

    Unfortunately it is quite normal for teenagers to chafe at authority in any form, to bang their heads against brick walls until they finally figure out they won't get anywhere. Kinda painful if you're the wall. Can you knit while proctoring, or are the powers that be afraid you might get sufficiently irritable to skewer one of the little dumplings?

  • At 6:43 PM , Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

    Lucia asked the question I have. Can you knit? You poor dear. Those "kids" have a huge wake-up call in their future.

  • At 9:31 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    Deb teaches in Fresno California USD. Roxie, don't you proctor for Clackamas County, Oregon?

  • At 10:13 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Feeling your pain, my feeling your pain....


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