Wednesday, as I promised my students, I brought Spartacus’ water gun to protect them from those seeking to distract from their AP Test. They were all so nervous, and I wanted to give them every chance I could. I brought granola bars, juice, and fruit in the morning so they could make sure they had some breakfast. In that brief time, one of them wrote their own “Word of the Day” on my whiteboard:
Most of my students take their AP English Language and Composition test in our auditorium, and last year students in the hallways during passing period were SO LOUD and completely ignored all the AP testing signs we put up everywhere that they could be heard even in that big space. They ignored me too when I tried to get them quiet, so this year I needed something more noticeable that would also be silent, since yelling, “SHHH THERE’S TESTING!!” defeats the purpose. My kids worked too hard for this exam to be bothered by noisy underclassmen, so drastic measures were needed.
This year I wanted quiet for my students, so I brought Spartacus’ brightly-colored squirt gun and stood guard outside the auditorium doors at the change of classes. If kids were too noisy, they got wet. Once the first kid ignored my warning and suffered the consequences, the noise level dropped substantially.
(I may have also squirted a few freshmen in the hallway during lunch who were trying to play touch football using a bottle of red Gatorade as a ball. Also, a few sophomores may have dropped my class for next year because they think I am crazy.
At any rate, now my test is done, my students can breathe again, and I can erase their “Word of the Day.
What is so bizarre is in the hour after the exam let out, I watched Twitter for the hashtag #aplang. By the time my students returned from lunch, I knew every passage and prompt on the test because someone in the Eastern timezone had tweeted a meme about it.
All AP students across the world sign what basically is an Nondisclosure Agreement on these tests to not share information, and then they go out and share it ALL – with their names – on the internet. If I didn’t understand one meme, I only had to find a few more and put the pieces together. I know the topic for the synthesis essay, the speech for the rhetorical analysis, the prompt for the argument essay, and can infer the main idea of at least three of the four multiple choice passages. With direct quotes. And that’s just on Twitter. Most of my students use Instagram and Snapchat far more than Twitter.
This could super help kids on, say, the west coast or in Hawaii, taking the test an hour or more AFTER the students on the east coast finish. Oh yes, and College Board has the legal right to cancel scores of individual students and entire testing locations for violation of their testing confidentiality. Silly students.
Two more school days, then finals, then summer! Yay!