If you teach a grade that requires standardized testing you know the stress that is involved. Testing season takes a toll. There’s so much happening and everything is expected to be perfect. I remember my first year of teaching. I taught 3rd grade and I became so nervous when our state test date approached. Over time I learned a few quick and simple steps to ease my anxiety on the days of testing. Here are 3 things to do to ensure your testing season finishes without a hitch.
My first few years I never went over details with my students. Of course they knew a big test was coming up, but I never went over how the morning would go. I didn’t want to stress them out, but I soon discovered that not giving them every detail made it worse. They had a ton of questions and I was on a tight schedule. My 3rd year I read the testing script to them the week before. That way I had time to answer every little question they had. And now with states converting to online testing, you definitely want to read the script and review all the functions the online test offers. Opt for total transparency with your students before testing begins. You have questions when state assessments come up and so do your students.
Even if you get to school early on regular days…get there even earlier on testing days. We know we are going to obsess over every little detail to make sure everything is just right. In my district I have to go pick up testing materials across campus. You run into staff and students. People want to chat. You lose time. Get to school early so you’re not rushing.
The morning of the first day of testing is always filled with doubt for me. I fret about the chapters I didn’t get to in math, or how my students struggled with a particular standard. I feel like I didn’t do enough. But I did and you did too. When testing season approaches be positive for your students and more importantly for yourself. You have done your part and you have done it well. Find comfort in that.
Being prepared and confident will ensure your classroom is as stress-free as possible during a hectic time of the school year.