Exam Week. Ugh.
Personally, I loathe exam week. Sitting still and being quiet or occasionally walking around while being careful not to disturb students is just plain boring. I love exam review week. I get all excited preparing my students for a test I know they are going to perform very well on (on account of my class is cumulative and I spend all semester preparing them). But then exam time comes....and the room is very quiet and kind of serious. A total letdown compared to fun, relaxed review week. So, how do I survive the student stress, boredom, and longggggg class periods?
1. Peppermints. Seriously, try it. You need 3-4 per day. Leave them open on your desk and have one every once in a while. This will prevent you from bored eating chocolate and all of the junk food that comes with
Christmas. Plus, peppermint allegedly helps you focus which will come in handy later on my list.
2. Challenge yourself to do 30 calf raises (yes the exercise) and to take 150 steps or more every 90 minutes. If 150 is too many, start with 50 and work your way up. Might as well work on those hot calf muscles while the kids are testing (ladies: your legs will look so toned in heels after exam week if you take the challenge).
3. Arrange a potluck lunch with your coworkers. This will give you something to look forward to and will help your street cred on campus. Everyone loves the person who arranges food! Here's a healthy and yummy taco soup recipe you can throw in the crockpot or instant pot if you aren't a master chef.
4. Make a group text with your colleagues and discreetly text one another using GIFs only. You will get a good laugh.
5. Plan for next semester... while you enjoy a peppermint. Honestly, don't work over break. Just go ahead and plan now. Bring your laptop (the keys make less noise) and plan away.
6. Plan a nice meal at home for the last day of exams. I'm talking drinks, apps, dinner, dessert. The whole shebang. It'll be fun and your family, friends, or roommates will appreciate it. Hopefully this takes up a good 2 hours of your time.
-Drink recipe: white wine (optional), cranberry juice, ginger ale, lime. Just mix it until it tastes good. Heavy on the wine.
7. Pilates. Buy yourself a pilates DVD if you don't like going to a gym or studio and do pilates after school. Not only will pilates improve your physical well-being but will relax you. Plus, if you are out of shape what a great time to start exercising! You don't have to do all that much at school and you might inspire yourself to continue working out through the holidays. You will forget mostly about stressing over exam grades and/or grading.
8. Team up with your department to grade exams. This is super easy for me because my current district requires all students to take the same scantron exams. During your planning period, you go around and collect all of the exams and mass grade for everyone. If your department stinks, I'm sorry. If you have to grade by hand, you can still swap off grading during planning.
9. Supply apples, oranges, and/or bananas for your students unless a student has an allergy. Your kids will feel more relaxed and prepared. I'm not sure the psych behind this phenomenon, but it works brilliantly. If you don't have any extra money, ask your local grocery store manager if he can donate the fruit. Usually, they will!
There you have it, 9 ways to deal with exam week. Hope everyone has a super exam week full of peppermints, exercise, food, texting, and planning!