I did a reading of this one on Facebook Live last weekend in support of my Kickstarter.  Check out the anti-testing poetry Kickstarter here: Tested Out: Poetry against high-stakes testing and standardized children.

Check out the video below — or tune in today (Saturday) at 3:00PM on Facebook Live for another poetry read.

Sorry indeed, but
I am a mosquito
And I really need to
Find somewhere to feed, so
If you would agree to
Let me bite your knee (no
More harm than a needle
And you’ll barely bleed), oh
I will not mistreat you
I won’t overeat you
And then, when complete, do
You think you could see to
Allow me my freedom
And simply let me go?
Oh please, I entreat you
Help out this mosquito!

Start at 15:00 for Mosquito!

[Blog] Announcing the Anti-Testing Kickstarter!

Support my Kickstarter and get your own book of anti-testing poetry!

Readers of this blog know I have…feelings about standardized testing. Throughout my weeks of monitoring PA state assessments for 10-year-olds, I’ve been resisting in the way I’m best at: by writing silly poems when I’m supposed to be doing other things (e.g. monitoring PA state assessments for 10-year-olds).

As it turns out, many of you have feelings about standardized testing as well.

I’ve been really excited about the positive response these anti-testing poems have gotten, in part because it’s been a great way to combine silly writing with advocacy for something I think is important. And I want to build on that. So…

I’m producing a book of anti-testing poetry – and I’m launching a Kickstarter to fund it!

Please consider supporting my Kickstarter and buying your own e-book, chapbook, or hardback:

Things to get excited about:

-Artwork by Anna Fox!
-Never-before-seen poems!
-Opportunities to spotlight anti-testing work around the country!

I hope you’ll consider joining this project! Also, please share with your networks — this is about generating a conversation, so let’s spread it as widely as possible!

Links to some of the testing poems published on this blog:

Testing, Day 1: New Testing Mandates
Testing, Day 2: Beat the System
Testing, Day 3: ABAD
Testing, Day 4: Marvin K. Parker
Testing, Day 5: Bright
Testing, Day 6: Stamina
Testing, Day 7: Testing Instructions
Testing, Day 8: Inspirational Slogans
Testing, Day 9: The Pledge

The Legend

[Check back soon for a special announcement — or click the “Follow” button to be the first to hear!]

Who’s the coolest
Kid in school?
Shawn Mermaids

Who do we
All want to be?
Shawn Mermaids

Those piercing eyes
That silky hair
Those teeth that make you stop and stare
And gasp, “Wait — who’s that over there?!”
Shawn Mermaids

Rides a scooter like it’s flying
Plays the tuba — now we’re crying
No one’s like him. But we’re trying
Shawn Mermaids

Black belt in Tai Chi
Has a law degree
Who we want to be
Shawn Mermaids

Testing, Day 9 – The Pledge

Last day of standardized testing. One month and many, many hours later. Thanks for joining me for this journey.

Last poem. This is what I’ve been reduced to.

I pledge allegiance to test security
I will stand up for testing purity
I will put tests above all else
My classroom, social life, and health
Won’t speak unless it’s test-aligned
Ban non-test items from my mind
For tests are knowledge. Tests are proof
Tests are uncontested truth
I love the tests. I now confess it
(I must, because the state law says it)

Testing, Day 8 – Inspirational Slogans

Last week of testing! Science this time.

This one is dedicated to everyone who feels seriously grossed out by PSSA pep rallies and those viral videos about how cool testing is.

(Literally half of these were pulled directly from a bag of inspirational pencils and bookmarks I was supposed to give out to the kids.)

“Do your best!” “Rock the test!”
“OMG! (hashtag #Blessed)”

“Breathe!” “Go slow!” “Think!” “YOLO”
“Time to show what you know!”

“Take your time!” “Keep on trying!”
…Now will you please stop crying?