Monday, May 9, 2011

Scoring with Mature Ladies

If you want to score with mature ladies, follow these simple guidelines. Compliments can work wonders. Ask the lady how old she is; when she smilingly obliges, tell her that she looks pretty good for someone her age. No woman can resist such sweet talk. Then say something that makes her feel young, such as, "Hey, I bet you still have a few years to go until retirement!"

Wait. I'm sorry. I thought of the title of this blog post at 10AM and completely forgot what I wanted to write about. I must be getting old myself. What I meant to talk about was scoring the ELA test with mature ladies.

I'm on my annual five day stay in the purgatory of grading ELA exams. Two days this week and three next week. To alleviate some of the mind numbing boredom of training, I started surveying the room. There were a lot of ladies there. That, in and of itself, is unremarkable. Teaching, as a profession, has a high estrogen-to-testosterone level. What was remarkable was the age of the average person in the room.

Now, I confess I did not ask the ages of all the people there, as I wanted to make it home alive, so this is not a scientific study. Still, I would have to say that the age of the average teacher in the room was a bit over forty, and maybe quite a bit over. It wasn't just the women who'd been around the block a few times; I'd be willing to bet that there wasn't a man there who hadn't had a prostate exam in the last year. The only other place you'd ever have seen a group of teachers with that much "experience" was in the now defunct rubber rooms.

Today's teaching force is much younger, on average, than the people in that room. Given the huge turnover in NYC schools, some staffs look more like a sorority than a faculty. It couldn't be mere coincidence that my fellow scorers all had some snow on the roof. So what was the reason?

Could it be that the DOE wanted to have experienced teachers grade these tests? That when push came to shove, they knew that they could rely on senior teachers to get the job done with minimal training and maximum professionalism? I think so.

I hope no one took offense at my juvenile jabs at older folks. It was all in jest. And just for the record, I was not the guy at table nine in the blue shirt, so don't jab me with your knitting needles tomorrow. We have to get through this together.



Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm one of those old ladies and I even brought my knitting for the down times.
The DOE didn't pick me, it was the principal and I think she decided because she had no classes to cover for me-I'm the librarian.
It is mind numbing but I'd rather be there than back at the building.

Mr. Talk said...

All of the people I was sitting with were awesome. And for the record, I am as old as anyone there. They chose us for a reason!