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Lessons in Skipping

Praise the Lord, I am finished administering FCAT!  After eight long days, 1,120 minutes, and the best testing partners around, I am done!

FCAT time is stressful, let me tell you.

The kids are on edge, the teachers are nervous, and the class schedule is c-r-a-z-y.

It was in this spirit that I began teaching students how to skip.


I know what you’re thinking.

How could I, a teacher, instruct my students in the way of cutting class.

Well, folks, that’s not the kind of skipping I’m talking about.

When I say that I taught students how to skip, I mean literally…as in the following…

Students are allowed to take bathroom breaks during testing.  We don’t stop the time, and we escort them.

As each student and I exited the test room, I casually asked, “Want to skip?”

It never failed.

I got the same reaction…



First, the look…

Then, the question…”Skip?”

To which I would answer, “You know…skipping.”

I continued by explaining that skipping would help get the blood flowing…get the student energized after sitting so long.

Students who were agreeable (albeit skeptical) would link arms with me, and down the hall we would go.

Some students were surprised to discover that though they had not skipped since their early youth, they quickly got the hang of it again.

One young man and I were very synchronized.

I have to admit that two young men outright refused to skip.

They were baseball players with reps to protect.

I understood, but I was still disappointed and made it very clear.


One young man made me chuckle the second day we skipped (testing was two days per group of students).  He even told me, when we got back to the room, “This was strange.”

I responded by telling him that I bet he felt better, and that he probably won’t ever forget his 9th grade FCAT.

He smiled as he nodded his assent.

One young lady returned to the classroom, took one look at my fellow proctor, a teacher friend, and said, “She’s crazy.”

My friend said, “I know.”


I genuinely hope the students who tested in my room didn’t feel too stressed.

I hope they knew they were cared for.

In the midst of all the pressure, I was happy to put a smile, when I could, on each face.

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