It’s spring – also known as standardized testing season.

Whether administering state-level exams or the SAT and ACT, teachers will be spending huge portions of their days at school monitoring standardized tests. Even if you are lucky enough to only proctor the slightly shorter redesigned SAT, you’ve still got close to four hours of mostly…pure torture.

Sure, you’re walking around making sure students aren’t cheating, and reading the instructions every once in a while, but what about the downtime? Here are a few ideas on how to be productive, keep busy, and maintain your sanity while monitoring standardized testing.

Monitoring standardized testing1. Make To-Do Lists

Walk around with a notepad and think about your upcoming week. Do you have laundry to do, groceries to get, or a birthday gift to shop for? Make a detailed to-do list for each of the upcoming days so you can be as productive as possible as you escape standardized testing.

2. Plan What You Would Do During a Zombie Apocalypse

Who said monitoring standardized tests had to be mind-numbingly boring? Mentally figure out what you would pack, who you would want to find first, and where you’d set up camp. You never know when The Walking Dead will happen in real life…

3. Count Your Steps

Since sitting is limited, you might as well find out how many calories you’re burning. Wear a FitBit (borrow from a friend if you don’t have one!) or carry around a phone with an app counting steps and mileage. If your friends are also monitoring standardized testing, make it a contest to see who can get their step count the highest. Calf raises are another easy, inconspicuous exercise to try!

4. Pick a Long Word and See How Many Different Words You Can Make Out of It

Time will fly as you realize you can find over 60 small words in “Shakespeare.” How many have you found already?

Monitoring standardized testing5. Practice Your “First Date” Questions and Answers

When you first meet someone on a date or in a social situation, you’re going to get the same questions – where you grew up, what you do for a living, the best trip you’ve ever taken. You might as well have a good answer ready! While you’re at it, think of some more interesting questions to ask the next time you meet someone for the first time than the basic ones you’re used to.

6. Do a Puzzle

Whether you try the newspaper’s daily crossword or a Soduko puzzle, this is way better than letting your mind aimlessly wander. When was the last time you had an hour to do a puzzle? Thanks, standardized testing!

7. Plan Your Classroom for Next Year

Maybe you are ready for a layout change or need to brainstorm themes for the bulletin boards in your classroom. Take this time to think of ideas you can implement in the coming months.

 8. Read the Numerous Pages of Directions Like They’re a Soliloquy by Shakespeare

…In your head, preferably.

9. Make (or Update) Your Bucket List

This is your invitation to La-La Land. While you’re monitoring standardized tests, you can let your mind wander to the places you want to travel, the goals you want to accomplish, and the skydiving school you should Google this afternoon.

Monitoring standardized testing

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

10. Test Different Brands of Gum

Bring three or more different kinds of gum and rate them on flavor, how long the flavor lasts, chewiness, and other factors. You’ll never question which brand to buy again!

However you decide to pass the time, try to avoid looking at the clock more than necessary. Make the most of this mind-numbing, monotonous task by using our tips – and add some of your own in the comments!

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