I started writing this post during hall duty and IMMEDIATELY abandoned it when hall duty was over. You may be thinking that my hall duty wasn’t very long but IN REALITY I am an incredibly slow writer. So anyway, this was just sad and lonely and in my drafts and I’m never going to finish it so here it is have fun people:
A Hall Monitor’s Tale
Or, You’ll Have to Wait There’s Someone Already in the Restroom
It’s standardized testing season, the most wonderless time of the school year. This is my 5th year in education and I’m pretty used to our state’s standards: The Standards of Learning (it took me THREE YEARS before I understood why out-of-staters laughed whenever I mentioned the S.O.L.s.)*. In these five years I’ve been a substitute teacher, a school-based substitute, an instructional assistant, and a full time teacher. So I’ve given SO MANY SOLs, I wouldn’t even be able to count. The mention of testing has changed over the years due to rules changing and student populations changing but it, overall, it’s mostly the same. Someone needs to read the state mandated script and someone needs to make sure that students are ALONE or SUPERVISED in the bathrooms AT ALL TIMES. Teaching, it’s a very glamorous job.
* Google it and ignore any result about Virginia or Mars timekeeping
I am currently doing the latter job. If you’re a teacher you already know this, because you can LITERALLY do NOTHING while in the room with testing students. You cannot grade papers. You cannot write lesson plans. You cannot look up cute end of year awards on Pinterest. And don’t even THINK about reading a book or magazine. You can’t even look directly at the computers the students are testing on! The state mandates that test proctors are allowed only to exist, they call it “active monitoring”. Basically, you are expected to walk around the room (that has been stripped of any student work or posters), not looking at anything, waiting for a student to raise their hand and ask one of the few things they are allowed to ask. There is a really funny but sad We Are Teachers article about this entitled, 17 Things You Can do While Actively Monitoring a Standardized Test.
If they ask to use the restroom, the student is sent to a hall monitor like me, whose whole purpose is to make sure only one student is in the bathroom at a time. Because. Cheating? Also, we have to make sure testers are not lollygagging at the water fountain and that non-testing students aren’t making ANY noises.