What Do Teachers Think About On Testing Days?

Another year, another round of standardized testing. Over the past two days students trotted into brick gilded buildings across the state and broke the seals on booklets of testing material to determine their level of academic achievement. I do not take these days lightly, but I also do not add to the burden of their mandatory assessment. I cooked breakfast burritos for kids who came hungry, and played fun games before the test to get them in a positive mood.

But once the test begins and furious bubbling of answers ensues, what do teachers think about for four mind-numbing hours?

As I pace the room, actively monitoring the testing, I have to keep myself from dying of absolute boredom. Therefore, I come up with something to occupy my mind. Last year it was how to build a water catchment system for my home. The year before it was creating schematics for a permanent magnet motor to solve the world’s energy problems (which never left the ridiculous design phase, of course). This year, it was pondering the objectives I will need to reteach before my students are ready for next year: subject-verb agreement, run-ons, eliminating redundancies, etc.

So fellow educators, what occupies your mind during those testing days?  Post in the comments below.

 

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9 thoughts on “What Do Teachers Think About On Testing Days?

  1. I used to HATE testing days because I hate not having anything to occupy my mind. I actually cheated. I would tape a sudoku puzzle in my testing manual. I would do a sweep of the room, and then add a number to the puzzle. I’d keep the manual on a tall file cabinet so I could do it standing up while monitoring from the back of the room. I wasn’t supposed to be doing that, but after 15 days of testing in a single year, I just couldn’t handle it anymore!

  2. I find myself looking toward the future careers of the students. I try to imagine them in a boardroom or preparing a meal as a chef. I see them all crunched over their tests and I imagine them actively teaching yoga, making a chiropractic adjustment or feeding animals on a farm or at a zoo. I am drawn to their hands. Are they creative and pudgy? Are they slim and musically inclined to playing piano? Will those hands cut sheet metal or design floral arrangements? Will those wagging feet cross the finish line of a marathon or support a nurse on the late shift? I try to imagine how they will look in twenty years. I also study their behavior. Will the child who sighs repeatedly come to suffer from depression? Will the day dreamer be a guest on Ted Talks? All these things fill my mind as I observe children who are testing.

  3. I would most likely start thinking about how much I dislike those long tests! As a future educator I know it will bother me to watch some of those students wilt under the tests gaze.

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  5. I redecorate my room in my mind. I plan bulletin boards, word walls, what color or theme, etc. I have also been known to count how many cinderblocks are in the wall and how many wall tiles are in the ceiling. There is no more mind numbing experience in teaching then end of year testing.

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  7. It warms my heart that you took the time to cook and bring in breakfast for those who may not have gotten it at home. The world needs more teachers like this. It’s the little things that make the most impact on children.

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