As an ESL teacher, we get to offer our students extra time during state testing which is great for our students! But what do us teachers do during all of this time? I got ya covered, teacher friends!
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but in high school, we have three parts in English and math, so I am pretty much a pro now!;) At the end of reading this, I'd love for you to share your ideas! No matter how silly they are. And side note- high school teachers, I have a special high school teacher membership coming at you really soon! Check it out here!
Brush up on your math
Yep. Practice your math skills! That sounds like fun, right? I know most of us are English teachers, so math is not our thing. Figuring out the times for time and a half on tests took me ohhhh, at least ten minutes to figure out. Then, I had to return back to it about thirty minutes later to make sure I did it correctly. During this time, I cruised from my desk to the clock on the other side of the room to make sure I got the minutes right. I did this a couple of times and made sure to look like I was doing something official, other than figuring out basic math.
I'm talking everything. I am not necessarily a germophobe, but when there are alcohol wipes nearby and nothing else to do, I go to town. I took my ID out of my lanyard and am embarrassed to say I was walking around for a very long time with a variety of crumbs and dog hair stuffed at the bottom. I wiped some coffee spills off of my shoes that had been there a couple weeks but when you are a teacher and have kids, you kind of let those things slide. Next up was the door handles. The options are endless!
Organize and clean for a coworker
You most likely are not in your own room when you are testing. Pass on some kindness and do a little organizing! You may not want to touch someone else's things, but some dry erase markers can always be organized (by color, maybe?) and a white board can always be cleaned in my opinion. I sprayed and wiped down my coworker's board mostly because the amount on hers was giving me anxiety, but hey! Maybe someone will come into mine and sweep one day?
What a great time to perfect your meditation practice! I've actually been trying to perfect a meditation from Joe Dispenza's book Becoming Supernatural and I had no choice but to try and try again. Or maybe you just are working on some breathing exercises and keeping a clear mind. And not to get too woo-woo on you, but go ahead and throw in some manifesting into your practice! What do you want for your summer or your next school year? Where do you want to go? Start brainstorming exactly what you want and the feelings you will get from them. Then when you can, write them down! Embrace the woo-woo.
Write a book, or maybe just a to-do list
When you can write, which might just be during a quick lunch break or maybe your district allows you to have pencil and paper, write that book you've always wanted to write! Want to write a children's book? Hey, you could knock that out in an hour, right? Or maybe you just have a ton of things to do, which is likely if you are a teacher, am I right? Get it all down on paper or in your teacher planner if it's allowed!
The end of the school year is a great time to reflect on what we have taught and think about what we might want to change next year. I like to use this weekly planner and reflection or this one but you could totally use it as an end of the year reflection too. Was there a strategy or a unit that seemed to spark student's interest? What was one lesson that you could really see student growth? What kept them engaged this year?
In all seriousness, this is a time to slow down and think of it as taking time for you. Yes, it's long. Yes, it's mind-numbing sometimes. Turn it into a positive and ask yourself what you need during this time of the year. You deserve a little break! Happy testing, teacher friends.
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I teach high school ESL and peer coach high school ESL teachers in my district. I enjoy sharing my strategies and materials online and love learning new things from other teachers of Emergent Bilinguals! Let's learn together in my high school teacher membership just for Multilingual Learners!