Sunday, November 2, 2014

View From an Urban Testing Room- A Poem for Time Magazine by Terry Preuss


By Terry Preuss, NBCT, Career Public Educator, Badass Teacher & Author: Voices in the Hall

These are Important Standardized Tests...

All quiet!

All sitting!

All still!

One scratches his head...

One closes her eyes.

I tap her gently and say, "Please stay awake, this is an important test."

She looks at me with eyes so fierce, they tell me that the night she went through, and the morning she is trying to forget make the presumed "importance" of this test simply ridiculous to her...



You think this is "important?"

Tell my mother to stop stealing the ADD medications I need to be able to focus.

She sells them when she is too short on money to buy her cigarettes.

And tell her "man" to stop coming in my bed...

Maybe then I can get some real sleep!

You say this is "important?"

Look at your smug self in your beige suit, and your blue jacket, and your closed toes shoes. 

Look at you!

You don't know the meaning of the word "important."


Then she picked up the pencil, clinching her fist and stared at the test to appease me.

And, I walked on to the next victim...

 of the "Important standardized test" starting to fall asleep in his seat.