Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It's madness I tell you, we must be in March.
I'm monitoring so actively, my shirt's losing its starch.

Today is a big day, it's TAKS ELA
and there's so many rules that I have to obey.

No websites to browse, and nothing to read,
it's going to be a long day indeed.

I'll read like a robot in monotone voice
reminding the students to bubble their choice.

Read exactly what's written, there's no script deviation.
(These type performances get no standing ovation.)

"Backpacks to the front, turn off your cell phones.
bathroom's one at a time, you must go alone."

"No drinks except water, hurry, finish your drink.
There's no proof that energy drinks help your brain think."

"Speaking of brain food, have I some for you,
I'll now pass out something on which you may chew."

I then hand out crackers, and a peppermint candy.
"If you're hungry or've got bad breath, they'll each come in handy."

"Turn to page to in your book, No not that one,
Please don't turn at all 'til my words are done."

"Your test booklet's also known as 'the test,'
I'm not 'posed to say, but I will, 'do your best!"

"Your answer sheets the page on which you will bubble.
Please raise your hand if you are having trouble."

"You may begin," I eventually say,
As the ELA students begin to wend their own way

Through a myriad of passages that they all have to read,
it'll be a long day for them, too, quite indeed.

Now time moves so slowly that I hardly can feel it.
I'm watching the clock as if someone will steal it.

The only sounds made are pages turning to the next,
and the occasional grunt from the student whose perplexed.

Now I just sit there, twiddling my thumbs,
looking all around, smacking my gum.

I try to pass time by popping my knuckles,
A student just farted, now I'm suppressing the chuckles.

I'm crossing my legs, one over the other,
and sharpening pencils, one after another.

Humming all kinds of great songs in my head,
stopping only to put a sharp point on a lead.

I can't do much else, lest the students all cheat.
Then I lose my job and have nothing to eat.

No, I've got to keep watching them, I must stay alert.
"Is that boy out of dress code? Should he tuck in his shirt?"

Many times there's eye contact. "Great, they think that I'm leering."
"Wait just a second, that guy's wearing an earring."

Oh the grand thoughts that do go through my mind,
"Did I start them too late, is the world now behind?"

My pacing is wearing out holes in my floor,
Oh great! there's some action, a kid's started to snore.

I wake him up gently and set him on course,
(he looks more bored than I do, now I'm filled with remorse.)

But no one may sleep during a standardized test.
Those without diplomas will surely attest.

If you're not awake, then you can't show your knowledge,
much less can you go to a nice four-year college.

To their every need, I eagerly cater.
Sometimes, though, it feels like I'm just a TAKS waiter.

What's with all the pencils?! I make lots of trips,
I feel I should ask if they'd like salsa and chips.

There's so many students who are sniffling and sneezing,
(perhaps its because I keep my room freezing.)

At least I have tissues, gives me something to do,
walk around with Kleenex asking, "have you nasal goo?"

No, I really don't do that, but I think it, it's true.
They get their own tissues. What's a bored teacher to do?

On part one, for each student, verbal aid is okay,
Dictionaries, Thesauruses, can help compose essays.

But part two is different, they must spell on their own,
Even if, for them, the true's spelling's unknown.

I move Dictionaries from desk A to desk B,
as I hope my break's coming soon, 'cause I gotta pee.

(dang all that coffee, by now I should know,
that favors are returned ala "quid pro quo')

I've ne'er given potty breaks an anyone lately,
I regret that now that I've got to pee greatly.

Great, just on time, my relief is here,
"I'll be back in a flash! You just saved my career!!!"

Returning refreshed, I can now go all day,
We're all that much closer for ELA going 'way.

But wait, who's on part two and who's still on one?
Part one uses dictionaries, part two uses none!

But while I was out, only one student switched,
(Thank goodness she told me 'bout which one was which.)

The next phase is blurry, I'm not sure how it passed,
I don't mean to say it went by real fast.

As the clock on the wall slowly ticked toward one-o- clock,
We all leaned towards the door like a giant trapped flock.

Then the announcement came, "Students please go to fourth."
and with the announcement, all the students went forth.

To go to real classes, they couldn't wait to return,
Who knew they'd all be so eager to learn.

But learning was hard with such 'breviated classes,
Teachers barely had time to count lads and lasses.

I spent my few minutes with each of my own,
finding the volume of right circular cones.

Then the day finally ended, we were done with the drill.
At least we get to do it all again, come April.


Tate (the son) said...

Haha. Very funny. VERY. VERY VERY funny. I can't wait to take the ELA, but heck. I'm only in fourth grade. I took the writing TAKS today, and it was TORTURE!!!!!!!!!! I guess that the ELA's are just as boring, except that they squeeze English and Language arts in there too. Nevermind. Its just gonna be worse. ALOT worse. I had to sit there for 25 minutes staring at a page because our TAKS books couldn't be turned in before 10:00. Also, we couldn't turn in our written composition booklets to start our final copy till' 1:00!!!!!!!! Oh well... G2g. bye!

Tate... THE SON!!!

LC said...

My pencil sharpener broke during the TAKS. So I had to hand pencils out the door so the hall monitor could sharpen them. Geez. At least we were done at 12:45.