How To Survive Testing

This weekend was VERY uneventful, but much needed. It was one of those boring adult weekends filled with laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, car issues, etc. Can I please just get a personal assistant already...pretty please!!!

The real highlight of my weekend occurred Friday night when Mr. B and I went out for dinner, but I already blogged about that here.

Since so much of my weekend was spent in preparation for this week of state testing I thought I would put together a little survival list for my fellow teachers. While this is only my second year doing this I have already learned from trial and a few errors how to survive this week with a little bit of sanity left. 

Back story for non teachers, this week we will be state testing 3 days and I would compare it to a prison style lock down.
As a teacher you are responsible for about 30 students that you might or might not know from 8:03-1:30, in a room that is not yours. You will not be allowed to sit. The students will not be allowed to talk. You will be allowed one restroom break, choose your timing wisely. Students will need an escort to leave your room, hopefully all the teachers actually show up so you get an escort and no child pees themselves. True story. And you will not be allowed to eat lunch.


ONE. Place a Victoria Secret order the Sunday before the tests. It helps if you have coupons and can justify your expenses by their expiration date but that is not always necessary. Just knowing you have pretty new clothes coming to your door at any moment will be your pot of gold at the end of this week. Just don't let Mr. B know about this.

In love with these shorts!
TWO. Choose smart shoes. My favorites are Reefs flats because they are amazingly comfortable but still very stylish. I can't wear ugly shoes regardless of pain, I have issues.

Look at all that foot cushion!
THREE.  Put a Pedometer app on your smart phone so you can track your miles walked. This will allow you to feel better about skipping the gym in the evening in lieu of a bottle of wine, more on that later. My favorite is Pedometer, it's free and it tells you steps and miles and can keep track of all of your past records.

FOUR.  Wear light weight clothes with pockets. You will be in a classroom that is not yours so you never know if the AC will be working or not. Bring a sweater just in case. Pockets are important to hold your phone for two reasons. One, to count your steps. And two this isn't your room so you have no where to properly lock up your phone and you don't need anyone with sticky fingers thinking they hit the jackpot and their prize was a shiny new-to-them iphone.

FIVE.  Pack an ice chest. Yes you will probably look like a bag lady with your purse, ice chest and testing tote but who cares. Ice chest should include water, snacks and a cold lunch. And if you are me, extra snacks and water, just enough to survive an Apocalypse.

SIX.  Make/Bring snacks for yourself. My students will each get a tiny bag of goldfish from the school during testing, that tiny bag will not fill me up at ALL. So I make sure I bring snacks that I will enjoy and my go to are these no bake energy bars.

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground pretzels
Mix all of the ingredients together, I would suggest adding more honey or peanut butter until you get a sticky texture that you can press together (I don't exactly like to measure when I make these). I like to pack the mixture into a Pyrex dish then put it into the fridge for a few hours so it sets, then cut up the pieces and ENJOY!  Recipe adapted from here.

I don't think the pictures do these justice, they are yummier than they look! PROMISE!


SEVEN.  Make a cold lunch. Something that can be eaten quickly, requires no preparation or use of a microwave. I opted to make a cold pasta salad on Sunday for this week. I am pretty darn proud of it and I might have made enough to have a block party and still have leftovers. This post has already gotten too long, that recipe will be for later this week.

EIGHT.  Prepare a few fun activities for your actual students after testing, they will moan and groan at the first sign of real work, and ain't nobody got time for that after a morning full of playing warden.  I am extremely lucky because we have computers so I will be able to soothe their poor worn out brains with a few computer games. Administrators please do not choose those days to do classroom observations, its just cruel.

NINE.  Find whatever motivates you, keeps you sane or puts a smile on your face and keep it close.

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TEN. If all of this advice fails you and you still feel like you are ready to cry, pull your hair out or crawl into a desk drawer when testing is over, I suggest having a bottle of wine waiting for you at home. Not that you really ever need to have a reason to have a bottle of wine waiting after work.

I am sure that not everyone finds testing week as dramatic as I do and perhaps none of this advice even applies to you as testing at your school roles out a little differently. 
What's your best testing advice for teachers?



- The Babbling Box!


  1. Personal Assistant, Party of two!! I would love one of those! Shopping justification is always a sure thing! Love those shorts!

  2. You have a wonderful blog!! I'm your newest GFC follower from the “Collective” blog hop - this is my blog if you wanted to follow back: