Join the March SOLSC at Two Writing Teachers!
The announcement comes over the speaker system, it’s time to make our way to the All Purpose Room – our school’s testing center. Last week, our ever-thoughtful Vice Principal arranged a tour of this room for all our middle school students. We know where to go, we know where to sit, we know what to expect.
My kiddos seem cheerful enough on this wintry March morning, and we make our way downstairs to the sounds of chatter and squeaky sneakers. The room is as expected, and soon every student is settled into a chair and going through the logging process.
Click. Click. Clack. They are off.
The room seems enormous, and my kids so small in their long rows of laptops, headsets, and endless coils of wires looping over and under tables and chairs. We are testing together, my morning and afternoon block classes, along with two other sixth grade classes. So many children, anxiously typing in their passwords and codes, checking the volume on their headsets, trying to get bodies comfortable in their folding chairs. I scan the room, making eye contact with all my Smithlings: Thumbs up! You good to go? Awesome! And then…boom! They are in the first ELA task, and the test begins. I watch my kiddos settle in. Slowly, their shoulders relax, and they begin to focus.
Click. Click. Clack. Shuffling shoes. The room takes on a certain rhythm. It is a long morning of reading, scrolling, cross referencing, and typing. I walk up and down, up and down. An hour to go. Then a half hour. And then we are done. Log off protocols, shut down the laptops.
My kids rise from their seats with a clatter, and we make our way back to room 202. They are hungry, ready for movement and talk. On their way to our room, they grab snacks from their locker and drinks from the water fountain, and slurp and crunch their way through the door. Jostling, smiling, making more noise than they really have to, they settle into comfy chairs, sprawl across the reading rug, slouch over desks. Relief and ease permeates the room – it washes over us in comforting waves.
Day One. Done.