For a fundraiser, teachers could buy jean passes for $5 to wear jeans during exam time. Someone anonymously bought a pass for me. What a nice way to wrap up the semester! I don’t know who, but I am quite thankful.
Students are given one hour and 45 minutes per exam, which is a rather awkward time; very few exams take that long, and those that do usually end up with 90% finishing in that time-frame and the last 10% not finishing at all. The first student turned in my exam at the 40 minute mark and proceeded to ask if she could go the bathroom (fine), library (no), ask for paper to doodle (fine), then tell me she needed something to do, with half an hour left. Most of my students took about an hour. I told them several times this week to bring something to do, and they look quizzically at me like that is a new concept. Especially those that took my exam first – surely they could study for their other SIX exams coming up? Or bring a book? I would have LOVED to finish early and spend sixty quiet minutes reading a book; I struggle to find time to read the newspaper during the week. As a not-so-subtle hint that I wanted them to read, I included this poster in their test to analyze for persuasive techniques:
I wish we had sustained silent reading built into our day; that seems to stop in late elementary school, which funnily enough is when most students stop reading on their own for pleasure. I am looking forward to reading at least one whole book all the way through during Christmas break. I haven’t done that since I started teaching. Next six weeks will also involve book reports of some kind; I have GOT to get these kids reading.
We basically babysat the afternoon classes; three normal-length periods without exams, but without any real lesson planning either. I tried to show my third period the 43-minute Blackadder Christmas Carol, in which Rowen Atkinson, a kind-hearted Ebenezer Blackadder discovers how his ancestors were in fact maliciously evil – and far better off than his present self. He wakes up, calls Queen Victoria the winner in Great Britain’s “Roundest Shortest Fattest Dumpiest Woman Competition”, and punches Baldrick in the face several times. My students – my often completely uncultured students – didn’t find this BBC classic remotely funny. I was disappointed in them. The rest of the afternoon watched a chunk of “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Still awesome, but not the same.