|The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by TWO WRITING TEACHERS|
One NEEDS to take a 10-minute bathroom break as soon as the second testing session begins.
One is stretching his arms up to the ceiling. I keep thinking he has a question. I think this is his game.
One is massaging his face. Maybe the blood flow will wake him up?
One is flipping his eyelid inside out. He grins when I give him the look.
One is staring. Just staring.
One puts his hood up. I am thinking it is not worth it to request he remove it. Perhaps retreating into his own world inside the comfort of the hood will help him focus.
One just turned to the next page of his test and pretended to vomit on it.
One needs a band-aid mid-test. To stick on his forehead. Now he needs hand sanitizer. Now he is requesting I throw out an old wrapper for him, since (he whispers to me) he has already stood up 7 times.
One is pretending his calculator is a cell-phone.
They are silent, I swear.
They are not communicating with each other. I am watching.
They are restless.
They are the boys of my 21 Voices Strong class.
They have gifts that will not be measured by this test designed for robotic children who I’ve never had the misfortune of meeting.
Have I failed them by not preparing them to sit still, to sit silent, to stay interested in work even a robot would tire of?
Or maybe it’s that the system is failing to measure what is truly of value in these humans—the boys of my 21 Voices Strong class.