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4 Tips to Help Older Students Avoid Testing Burnout

4 Tips to Help Older Students Avoid Testing Burnout

For high school students, testing season can feel like testing year. Between state-mandated tests, college entrance exams, and end-of-course exams, the average high school student may spend over 30 school days in testing per school year. No mind can withstand that load and stay effectual! There will be burnout.

Teachers tend not to have much input on testing these days (otherwise, the last decade would have looked a lot different), so the best an educator can do is help support students as they run through this examination gauntlet. Here are things to keep in mind.

Vary your instructional methods

Now is the time for everyone to put on differentiation hats. A classroom style built around passive listening during lectures or videos only adds to the monotony of testing season. The right activity after a major test can rejuvenate minds rather than sap them of dwindling energy. Speaking of which . . .

Lay off the movies

Since the dawn of the filmstrip, teachers have relied on movies to give a much-deserved rest to students who have just slogged through a big test. Although students may say all they want to do is zone out, passive movie watching isn’t the best idea. Instead, break out your bag of fun educational activities, and give your students input in how they spend their time between testing periods. You may be surprised at how much they gravitate toward a fun game, even when they thought they had no more brain cells left to donate.

Be systematic in your studying

As testing season rolls on, every cram session takes a toll on student performance. If students are trying to stuff their minds with last-minute knowledge both at school and at home, something has to give. This busy time is when your organizational skills become golden. Schedule the intervening periods between tests down to the minute so that students know what to expect in your class and understand how you will keep everything to a manageable pace. You’ll spend a lot of time printing calendars and writing on the board, but the students will thank you.

Change the environment

Any novelty serves as an energetic pulse to the brain, and one of the easiest ways to produce those new sensations is to change the class. Move furniture around, or take the students outside to study if the weather is nice. The mind learns better if it can recall the context in which it absorbed new information, so being able to remember a certain fact because it was studied outside under a tree can help.

State testing can take a toll on everyone in the classroom. Keep your mind healthy and refreshed with these three easy ways to bring mindfulness into the classroom!