The Atlantic Interviews SAT Proctor of 53 Years
The Atlantic Interviews SAT Proctor of 53 YearsCollege Board Communications
Adrienne Green, assistant editor at The Atlantic, interviewed Robert Rorison, who administered the SAT at Abington Senior High School in Pennsylvania for 53 years. Check out an excerpt from their conversation below, then read the full interview on The Atlantic.
Adrienne Green: What inspired you to become an SAT proctor?
Robert Rorison: I was an American-history teacher at Abington Senior High School, and the principal of the school approached a lot of the new members of the faculty and said that they needed help administering the SAT. My wife and I had just had our second child and we thought a few extra bucks would be helpful. [The salary] was much smaller [than my teaching salary], just enough to take your wife out to dinner. I enjoyed it, and they kept asking me to do it, so I did for 53 years.
Green: Being a proctor requires a level of discipline. Would you say that your personal ethics are what led you to enjoy this job?
Rorison: Yes. I feel very keenly on that. I feel if you're taking an exam to enter a particular college, for you and for the college, they want an honest opinion of you. If you want to honestly demonstrate your skills, your abilities, that's fine. I'll go along with the honest way of doing it. There will be no cheating. No looking at somebody else's anything. This is the way I feel. I felt that way as a teacher when giving ordinary classroom tests.
Green: How is your work tied into your identity?
Rorison: My career was in education and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In retirement, I still gave the SAT for 18 years. I enjoyed very much going in and having contact with the kids. That was really the core of my professional life. Nowadays, my professional life is shifting to my own grandchildren, two of whom are in college and one of whom is going this coming fall. I'm very proud of some of my former students. I watch one of them on television regularly, and Ash Carter is the Secretary of Defense. I taught him government, and he is now in the government of the United States. It's nice to see how some of your former students turn out.
Read the rest online.