The 10 Stages of Monitoring a Standardized Test

Oh yeah. We’ve been there.

Everyone knows that standardized testing is the worst. It puts a huge amount of stress on students and a huge amount of work on administrators.

It also puts teachers in a mental environment akin to torture.

Think about it: usually when you’re bored you can call someone, use technology, doodle on a napkin, or slip into a daydream about getting stuck on an elevator with Benedict Cumberbatch.

But on standardized testing days, the only thing teachers can do is watch students take a test. Just think about that.

Because of this unique combination of stress and boredom, teachers go through a highly emotional journey comprising 10 distinctive stages. Allow me to enlighten you.

Stage 1: A False Sense of Excitement


There’s something at the beginning of the testing day about getting a bundle of thirty sharpened pencils and the knowledge that you’ll have to deal with fewer outbursts than normal that instills a false sense of well-being.

Stage 2: Waning Optimism

Michael Scott standardized testing teacher

At this stage of standardized testing, the initial excitement takes a dramatic downturn anywhere between ten and thirty-five minutes in.

Stage 3: Eye-stabbing Boredom

Boo Monster's Inc teacher teachers standardized testing

This is the stage where teachers remember that they actually have to watch students take a test for the next several hours.

Stage 4: Panic

Kristin Wiig surprised teacher standardized testing

And this is the stage where teachers realize they are less than 40 minutes in.

Stage 5: Anger

Leslie Knope Amy Poehler teacher standardized testing

Teachers usually start mentally drafting angry letters to their congressmen at this stage.


Stage 6: Determination

Winston Bishop new girl standardized testing teacher

This is a particularly sad step in the standardized testing process, usually after lunch, when teachers begin to think they will actually make it.

Stage 7: Soul-crushing Despair

Despair teacher standardized testing

And then it hits them: they’re only halfway done.

Stage 8: Bargaining

Mean Girls Karen I'm sick standardized testing teachers

In this stage teachers begin asking the “What if…” questions in order to escape the pain of proctoring a state test. What if I suddenly “remembered” I left the water running? What if I instantaneously developed a severe case of shingles?

Stage 9: Hope

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And somehow, finally, impossibly, the clock shows that less than ten minutes remain.

Stage 10: Deliverance

Sound of Music Julie Andrews standardized testing teachers

For tips on how to stay sane and compliant during standardized testing, check out 17 Things You Can Do While Actively Monitoring! 

Posted by Love Teach

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