Monday, May 11, 2009
My Least Favorite Part Of Teaching
Proctoring exams is probably my least favorite part of teaching. Keeping my mouth shut for any extend period of time is pure torture. Proctoring AP exams is the absolute worse.
This year I proctored the AP Physics exam. They needed someone who wouldn't screw it up as there are two exams going on at once. I cannot imagine why I would have this reputation. I'm the biggest screw up at something I can't even mention here because of a certain person that reads this blog.
Proctoring is stressful for me because I worry way too much about screwing up. What if I calculate the time wrong? What is I read the instructions wrong? What if I lose a paper?
A few years ago, something really bad happened during one of the AP exams. (sorry, but I can't say what happened.) The evil and more evil cops from ETS came around and everyone involved was interrogated for hours. You could have been a teacher, a student, a secretary, an administrator or even a janitor. No one was exempt. Everyone was suspect. I had nightmares for weeks after it was over. (The mystery was solved a year later. I found out because I knew the people involved. The school never told us the guilty parties were caught and never apologized for making us go through such torture.)
I mentioned that there were two exams going on at once, let me get back to that. Fifteen kids were doing one exam and five were doing another. One group had two 45 minute sessions, with survey questions and other stuff in the middle. The other group had a solid hour and a half to work. Packemin HS does not have optimal testing conditions. I had to call twice to get the loud music in the next room lowered. The dumpsters are right outside the window and we got treated to ten minutes of garbage bag toss during the exam. The bathrooms were locked during the ten minute break and we had to run around to get them open.
The kids who took this exam are great. For the most part, they diligently worked so hard you could feel the heat from the wheels turning in their brains. Only one kid gave up. I know him well as he is one of my AP kids. He alternated between sleeping, fiddling, drawing pictures and making origami airplanes. I was worried that he did the same thing during the calculus exam but he and other other kids in the room assured me that he actually took that exam seriously.
Now, the next big proctoring assignments--REGENTS EXAMS. I can hardly wait.