Slice of Life Tuesday: Testing days…what we will remember

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers

Monday morning, around 8:30 a.m.:
A silent classroom, rows of desks, rows of students.  The radiator hums, #2 pencils scratch and scrawl across booklets. Pages rustle, students frown and sigh, then quick-check the ever-so-slowly ticking clock.  There is the scent of peppermint LifeSavers in the air – “concentration helpers” courtesy the teacher.  Somewhere outside birds sing and someones dog is having a conversation with its neighbor. Another two hours to go. Shoulders slump, then stiffen….back to work they go.

Monday afternoon, around 1:00 p.m.:
We are outside, in the brilliant sunshine, camped around picnic tables.  Some of us are sprawled on table tops and benches, soaking in the warmth and the gentle breeze.  A gym class makes its way around the track not too far away, and we hear the rhythmic thud of sneakers methodically wending their way around the oval.  We are listening to “Wonder” – the laugh out loud chapters with the farting nurse and Mr. Tushman.  Giggles and squeals and raucous laughter – we can hardly contain ourselves.  Even Mrs. Smith is laughing so hard she has to wait, collect herself, wipe her eyes, before going on…. 

Three  more days of testing…but here we are, enjoying the awesomeness of a great book and  each other’s company.  This is what we will remember of sixth grade.

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12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Testing days…what we will remember

  1. Oh, it's just poetic the way you described this day, Tara, with the 'concentration helpers' and the dog having a conversation, then the laugh out loud chapters and Mrs. Smith laughing hard. What a wonderful idea to read that book during testing week! It's like a reward at the end of a rough day.

  2. The tenseness of testing and the freedom of the afternoon come through your words. Soon it will be over and you can get back to the joy of teaching/learning.

  3. Love the contrast – and there is no doubt about what they will remember and make use of. Learning from "Wonder" will definitely enlarge their lives. Testing only diminishes them.Great post.

  4. We have enrichment afternoon on our final day of testing. Students get to choose their class and teachers get to teach their passions. And I always offer the same class, Games and Books and Cookies and Milk! It's a great way to end the week! I may steal your concentration helper idea

  5. What a lovely post, especially the part about the afternoon after the testing craze! I love the phrase "a dog is having a conversation with it's neighbour" and the fact that you had to stop reading because you were laughing so hard. I agree. This is what they'll remember of sixth grade.

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