I spend hours building and then double-triple-quadruple-checking the document.
Each grade level—third, fourth, fifth.
Each content area—English/Language Arts, Math, Science.
Each accommodation and accessibility feature for each child who needs one—specified, color-coded, and carefully grouped according to which (and who) can be in the same room.
This year, the added layer of separate testing times and groups for students who are still learning remotely.
I experience some minor acid reflux as I do the math: Do we actually have enough extra adults to proctor and enough spaces in our building to make this happen?
I’ve choreographed this delicate dance for many years. It is easily the least favorite part of my job, but it is necessary—and essential to do it right so that state testing goes smoothly. (Even in a pandemic year when we should NOT be testing, in my humble opinion.)
I do one final check, and I send it out for teachers to look over.
Within minutes, a response comes in. “Are we allowed to mix cohorts?”
My reaction—alone in my classroom on a teacher work day with no kids in the building—has been censored.
I thank the teacher for her eagle eye. And I am grateful to have a chance to solve this problem today, as opposed to on testing day.