Usually when you’re bored you can call someone, use technology, doodle on a napkin, or slip into a daydream about getting stuck in an elevator with Benedict Cumberbatch. But on standardized testing days, the only thing teachers can do is watch students take a test. Because of this unique combination of stress and boredom, teachers go through a highly emotional journey comprising 12 distinctive stages. Allow me to enlighten you.
Stage 1: Pure Optimism and Positivity
Teachers get their students psyched up because that’s what they do. They’ve been preparing for this all school year, and they do everything they can to make sure kids are in the right mindset. Let the testing begin!
Stage 2: A False Sense of Excitement
There’s something about getting a bundle of 30 sharpened pencils and the knowledge that teachers will have to deal with fewer outbursts than normal that instills a false sense of hope.
Stage 3: Waning Optimism
The initial excitement takes a dramatic downturn, anywhere between 10 and 35 minutes in.
Stage 4: Eye-Stabbing Boredom
This is the stage where teachers remember that they actually have to watch students take a test for the next several hours.
Stage 5: Panic
And this is the stage where teachers realize they are less than 40 minutes in.
Stage 6: Anger
Teachers usually start mentally drafting angry letters to their congressperson at this stage.
Stage 7: Determination
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 8: Dreaming
They start thinking about all the great things they’re going to do later because it’s one of the only things that can help them get through.
Stage 9: Soul-Crushing Despair
And then it hits them: They’re only halfway done.
Stage 10: Bargaining
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 11: Hope
And somehow, finally, impossibly, the clock shows that fewer than ten minutes remain.
Stage 12: Deliverance
They find a way to celebrate with their teacher BFF because they just made it!