I am really struggling to balance the factory/assembly line part of my job with teaching children and addressing their individual needs. NYSESLAT – the state ESL test – listening and reading answer sheets are due at noon today and I have a lot more bubbling and grid organization to do before the deadline.
It’s also the last day of make-up testing and I have two students who need to take the writing test. They are fifth graders and their test includes multiple choice questions, a descriptive writing paragraph and a non-fiction essay.
One is an old soul; wise beyond his years. He has excellent listening comprehension skills but struggles to focus and is a slow reader and writer. This is why he hasn’t tested out of ESL (the NYSESLAT is the sole factor in determining whether a student is English proficient or not). He is not a true ELL (English-language learner). It is unlikely that he will finish the test, which means he will be pulled out of his sixth grade classes next year for ESL services.
While a colleague and I race against the clock to bubble and double-check 312 grids, an activity that requires undivided attention, I must also administer the writing test to these students. The other student has an IEP and gets directions and questions read and re-read. It should be noted that the NYSESLAT is administered right after the ELA and math tests (6 days of testing, 13.5 hours long in total for ELLs who get extended time). Their classroom teacher and I had to bribe the students with a pizza party to get them take the NYSESLAT seriously.
Fretting about what’s in store for me this morning is why I am awake at 4:00 am.