How To Prepare For Testing: A Teacher’s Guide
Standardized testing season is here! You have spent countless hours preparing your students to be successful.
In case you forgot, standardized testing is a big deal. These tests help you see how much your students have grown over the past school year. These tests might also be used in your evaluation and school grade.
Standardized testing can feel like a pressure cooker. It can feel overwhelming for students and teachers alike.
I’m sure you are wondering why I am telling you this – you already know how stressful testing can be. That is why you have spent so much time preparing your students.
Because in the middle of all the review games, flashcards, pop quizzes, and practice tests, it’s highly likely you’ve forgotten to prepare one person.
As teachers, we can get so caught up in preparing our students that we forget this test is happening to us, too.
As a teacher, there is no review game for you to play. No note cards for you to go over. There is no other knowledge you need.
So how do you to prep yourself for standardized testing? I’ve asked a few of my teacher friends how they prepare. I’ve also done some research. With all of this in mind, here are the top things teachers do to prepare themselves for standardized testing.
How To Prepare Yourself For Testing
Learning how to reduce your body’s stress by meditating or using different breathing techniques is beneficial for you as a teacher. In the weeks leading up to the test, establish a quiet and quick meditation or breathing technique that you can use in the classroom without disrupting your class. When you feel the pressure or see your students looking overwhelmed, use breathing or meditation methods to get your own heart rate down.
Just like those taking standardized tests, teachers need to be sure they are getting the right amount of quality sleep every night, so they are fresh and ready to go the next morning. Try to limit the amount of other work you have in the evenings the week of testing to ensure you have enough time to truly rest.
If you are a visual person, write down some positive thoughts and place them everywhere you look: your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, and your desk. Remind yourself that you have taught your students well and that they will do fine.
Testing week is not the week for dressing up. This week, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You don’t need the added pressure of heels. (Unless of course, you feel the need for a power stance. If that’s the case, put on your best-looking outfit and own it!)
If you feel the stress and pressure of standardized testing, your students will feel it too. Stressed out students do not test well! Show your confidence in them – you have both worked hard all year. They will do the best they can, and that is all they can do. If you are relaxed, they will feel more relaxed!
Relax the Night Before
Sunday before standardized testing begins, try to do something fun that will take your mind off the test. This will make you feel far more prepared than spending Sunday night wondering how testing will go.
Just like we would tell our students, eating healthy foods and staying energized by being active will keep your endorphins where they should be and keep your stress levels down.
If you enjoy yoga, the week of standardized testing is the week to downward dog (and cat and cow) to your heart’s content.
Don’t forget to pack yourself healthy snacks for the week of testing. Do what you can to keep your energy levels up!
If you are like me, then the idea of self-care the week of a major test can seem well, selfish. However, it is important for us to be role models for our students this week.
If we want our students to rest, eat the right foods, display confidence in themselves, and find ways to reduce their stress, we need to be doing the same.
This week, be an example to your students in the way you care for yourself and the way you hold yourself.
No matter what happens with these tests, remind yourself of the same thing you tell your students: this test does not define you.