Thursday, April 27, 2006
posted by Q6 at 6:45 PM
For three weeks, I'm running the AP tests. All by myself. I mean, I have a few people proctoring when there are FIVE classrooms worth, but all the planning and execution is me. Now, when I took this on I had certain expectations: I'd done College Board tests before, and their paperwork was not all that stressful; counselors had proctored in the past, and so there would be competent people in the classrooms; and there was money to be had, which is always nice.

As it turns out, the paperwork for AP tests is all done online (which is not outside my abilities, of course), but there's a lot of nit-picky stuff involved in the AP's that never comes up with the SAT's. The whole money issue bit me in the ass not once, but twice: our new principal has decreed that those of us "on contract" cannot be paid extra for things that are "already in our job descriptions"--the results being (a) counselors weren't going to be proctoring the tests, and (b) there would be no fat paycheck in the end for me. I see her point, and it's a valid argument, but it does reek of her re-neggin on someone else's contract. In the end, the tests will be proctored by counseling interns, only one of which (there are three) seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Since there aren't enough to go around, I will be proctoring as well. At least one section of each test. All 23 of them.

So I will be "going dark" professionally. I've announced to the staff that I will be unavailable to perform my routine problem-solving duties, and that my workload will be handled by others. I'll be gone for a little under three weeks, but by "gone" I mean that I will still be on campus but completely secluded from anything resembling the job I enjoy. (Ah, well. I needed a vacation, anyway. Maybe I'll use the time to clear out some of the backlogged paperwork I've been avoiding. I also have some groovy books to read, ten pages at a time, in between walks around the room.) In planning this little adventure, people are already starting to ask me what I will do differently next year; and other than "find someone else to handle these tests," I really can't think of anything.