Standardized testing season is upon us, and these testing weeks can be stressful for teachers, school leadership, parents, and students alike. There is an extreme divide in how individuals feel about the common core standards and methods of teaching and testing. And then there is the pressure of new computer-based testing in some states. If you’re a teacher you’re likely stuck in the middle of this emotionally charged atmosphere.
So what can you do?
Our team at PLS Classes has put together a few tips and tricks to help take the stress out of the next several weeks. We hope that these ideas help you and your students succeed this year.
- Embrace what you can control. As a teacher, the most important thing you are in control of is your teaching performance. Reflect upon your school year. Did you do your best? Now look at the things you may not be able to control or influence, such as your student’s attitudes, their home life, or the support of your school’s leadership. Realize that remaining focused on your performance will help you stay in control and to move forward. Control what you can—your performance—and move forward.
- Be prepared for a wide range of student emotions. Some students have trouble focusing for long periods of time, and even your best students can get test anxiety. You might even see some tears. Remember that you might need to provide your students with a little extra TLC leading up to and on the day of the tests. Reassuring your students that they should simply do their best may help them put the test into perspective.
- Be positive. Remember follow the leader? As a teacher, your students are following your lead and are open to your energy. Be as upbeat and positive as you can, even if you don’t agree with standardized testing. Make sure to remind your students that you believe in each one of them and his or her abilities. Encourage your students to put forth their best effort and that you’ll be proud of them no matter what!
- Offer treats. Bring in fun #2 pencils and erasers, water bottles, district-approved snacks, or stickers. Kids love this stuff!
- Create an upbeat, positive environment for your students on testing day. Before the test, lead a morning stretch. You might get some giggles and that will improve the mood for sure! After the test, promise your students a nature walk outside, a district-approved snack time to debrief and discuss the exam, watch a short movie, or even have a pop-up dance party. Any way to add a little fun and excitement into the day will help boost morale.
- Take care of yourself. Spring testing can wear on you, so make sure to carve out some “me time” during these weeks. Get adequate rest, schedule a dinner date with a friend, hit a yoga class or take a bubble bath. You deserve it.
We hope these ideas will help you in the coming weeks! And if you are in the middle of standardized tests, our team at PLS Classes wishes you and your students the best!
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share about how to deal with standardized test stress for you or your students? Your ideas can help other educators. Please share them with us below!