Wednesday, March 15, 2006


This is the moment.

Four months shy
of the end of the year
after months of demonstrating
squishing every state standard
into a palatable pill
we can swallow

it all comes down to this week

This is our judgment,
both student and teacher,
This is where they must pass
to move on a grade
This is my public record
a school's badge of honor--
or shame.

THE TEST will not forgive
your headache
a grandfather's funeral
the welt on your back
that wouldn't let you concentrate
or your anxious butterfly-hands
as you shade

It doesn't give extra credit
for perseverance
or that your reading has improved
by two grade levels--
if you're not at grade level

As we head into battle every morning
I tell my class how smart they are--
they have everything they need
in their brains.
I bring in granola bars
and juice boxes
for sustenance,
we sing songs and dance,
our spirits soaring.

Then I pass out sharp pencils
study their creased faces
rub their backs when they seem overwhelmed

It all falls on this moment.

May we come out


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have captured so well the problem with testing. It brought tears to my eyes when I read this. The children you teach are so blessed!

7:37 PM  

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