Whether it’s a root canal or standardized testing season, the experience can be traumatic. For both, you just have have to take a deep breath and get through it. If you are entering testing season, then you can easily see that there are (at least!) six ways that it’s a lot like getting a root canal.
1. It sneaks up on you.
But, but … you were flossing every day! Or at least every other day. How can you need a root canal?! Likewise, you’re midway through your best unit of the year. Students are strangely engaged like they’ve never been before. That kid who used to show up every day without a pencil has finally started bringing one to class. Standardized testing rolls around just in time for you to stop and lose all of your momentum. Sigh.
2. There’s no getting out of it.
Sure, you could just ignore it. Hope it goes away. But it won’t. In fact, ignoring it will only make it worse. You just have to deal with it.
3. “This won’t hurt a bit.”
Whether it’s your dentist or your administrator, you know they don’t WANT to cause you pain, but the pain is inevitable. They’ll make sure you’re comfortable. They’ll check on you and ask if you’re doing OK. You’ll just nod your head and say “uh-huh” while trying to hold back those tears.
4. You will be numb.
You know those days when you barely get a chance to sit down or use the bathroom, and it seems like eight hours goes by in the blink of an eye? Not standardized testing day. The days will drag on. Minutes seem like hours. You’ll think it must be time for lunch soon because your stomach is rumbling, but then when you look at the clock, it’s barely 9:30 am. By the time it’s 3:00 pm, you’re practically catatonic.
5. You’re sooooo happy when it’s over (for now).
All done! You breathe a sigh of relief and know you made it through. It wasn’t easy. There was pain. There were tears. Maybe a little blood. You kept wondering when it would all be over. You know this probably won’t be your last time through it, but for now, you’re finished. You make a mental note to add more dental floss to your shopping list. And extra pencils for that kid. You know he’s going to forget again.
6. You deserve a reward.
Get yourself some ice cream. You deserve it. That was a lot to go through, and you’re probably not ready for solid food after all of that anyway.
Need to talk, vent, or share tips about standardized testing season? Check out our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook to connect with other teachers. We also have an article that will make you LOL about the 10 stages of monitoring standardized tests.