The Reality of Active Monitoring During Testing Season

Oh state testing season. You’re here. How I’ve missed you and all of the free thinking time you allow me to have while active monitoring. NOT.

Okay, so we’ve all been there. Active Monitoring. The big, silent beast in the middle of any state test. Walking around with nothing to do except actively monitor students while they take the state test.

It might sound like fun, but let’s get one thing straight. It’s not. At all.

active monitoring during state testing blog post header

You aren’t allowed to sit. You can’t read or write, so definitely no lesson planning allowed. No computers or cell phones. We weren’t even allowed to wear our FitBits.

We get to watch students take a test. Watch… kids… take a test. For hours.

Let that just sink in.

Since I had the pleasure of participating in said “active monitoring” this week, I thought I would share how the day of testing went… and how I spent my time actively monitoring.

8:30AM – “Okay class, let’s get started. I’m going to read the directions to you. Pay attention.”

8:35AM – All right, I’m ready to actively monitor! I can do this! [starts walking around the room]
really anchorman ron burgundy
8:40AM – It’s only been 5 minutes… really? Feels like it’s been two hours.

8:49AM – 15 steps from one end of the classroom to the other… I must’ve walked about 1,000 steps by now and I’m only 14 minutes in. I wish I had my FitBit so I could smash my steps goals today…

8:54AM – Oh. My. Goodness. This day is draaaaagggging. I’m not going to make it

8:55AM – YAY! A question! [answers student’s question with, “Sorry dear, I can’t help you with that. Try your best!”] Well now I feel even more useless…

8:59AM –  How long until lunch?

9:00AM – My shoes are really dirty… I should wash them… or just buy a new pair.

9:02AM – Yeah, I’ll buy a new pair… let me just hop on a compu… wait. I can’t get on a computer. Let me write it dow… I can’t write it down either. Well, I guess I’m not buying a new pair of shoes.

9:05AM – 2345… 2346… 2347… 2348 steps… I am killing it today! I should actively monitor more often. I would be so skinny and I would have killer legs!
sad the walking dead crying steven yeun glenn rhee
9:13AM – Okay, we’re about 43 minutes in to this test now. I seriously could have watched an entire episode of The Walking Dead by now.

9:14AM – Zombies… what if we all turned in to zombies during a state test? Would I be stuck in this room actively monitoring forever!?

9:16AM – The kids kind of act like zombies during state testing anyway… I sure feel like a zombie right now…

9:17AM – Now I have to pee. Great. Just wonderful.

9:20AM – I guess I’ll just wash these shoes when I get home.

9:21AM – If I turned into a zombie, these white shoes would certainly never be white again.

9:25AM – 6710… 6711… 6712… 6713… keep on walking… you’ve got this.

9:26AM – I wish I would have worn my hair up today. 

9:27AM – I have a lot of split ends. I should call my hair stylist. Let me write a not… yep, can’t even write it down. Guess I’m not getting my hair cut either. 

9:28AM – Hopefully there is an award for the biggest hot mess of a teacher this year, because I would certainly win that. Crazy hair, dirty shoes… yep. Winner over here. Thank goodness I already have a husband because that would be a lost cause.
black and white tom hanks forrest gump pee
9:31AM – I still need to pee. Guess it’s a good day to work on this bladder of steel.

9:34AM – YAY! One hour in… only the rest of the day to go… I’m about 10,000 steps in already. Give or take a few. I won’t have to walk for the rest of the week now! 

9:35AM – I wonder if I can add “Biggest Hot Mess of a Teacher Award” to my resume?! That’s a good resume builder, right?

9: 37AM – 11,001… 11,002… 11,003… I have legs of steel now!

9:40AM – Man, fourth grade was awesome. No worries, no bills… I didn’t care if my shoes were dirty or if I had split ends.

9:41AM – I remember that time in fourth grade I called my frenemy a freaking a-hole. HA! I was such a reb… oh wait, that was fifth grade.

9:42AM – 16 miles down… I should sign up for a walking marathon. That’s got to be a record! 16 miles in an hour and 7 minutes. Man, I’m good!

9:50AM – My frenemy is probably still a freaking a-hole… DeLussey, that isn’t nice to say. You should be nice… that was a long time ago!

9:51AM – Oh my word, I’m talking to myself … and answering to myself… inside my head… I’m going crazy. I am going to be certified mentally insane by 3PM.
Teachers on TV Land funny lol comedy tv show
9:56AM – Only 2 and a half hours until lunch. My stomach is already eating itself, I’m just so hungry!

9:57AM – I’m going to starve… oh wait, they gave us one extra bag of fish crackers! MINE!

9:59AM – I bet I’m crunching really loud. These kids can probably hear me crunching on their fish crackers down the hallway and out the back door. 

10:00AM – Do I always crunch this loud?

10:01AM – I’m going to suck on the crackers and then eat them. Then they’ll be soft and won’t crunch! The kids will never know… mwuahahaha!

10:06AM – Bladder of steel! Legs of steel! Man, I’m never going to be able to walk through a metal detector again… it’ll just go off with all of my beastliness. HAAA! I crack myself up. I’m histerical… I should just stop teaching and become a comedian.

10:07AM – I would probably make more money being a comedian.

10:08AM – Maybe I could get a cameo appearance on The Walking Dead… I could wear my dirty shoes! That would surely save the dress up team some time.

[Relief walks in at 10:10AM] – YAY! I can finally pee! I have 20 minutes to kill… I’m going to fill up my water bottle too. And eat some of my lunch. Probably look up Zombie School because that would be awesome… and order some new shoes. Maybe look in to going to see a psychologist too… I feel a little crazy now…

Ya’ll… that was only the first hour and forty five minutes. You can only imagine how the remainder of my school day was actively monitoring until 2PM. Yes, until 2PM!

But in all reality, active monitoring is a mixture of extreme boredom and stress. The best analogy is probably torture… and for many teachers, it lasts for days. Days of testing.

So teachers, don’t forget to thank your state… and parents, say an extra prayer for your child’s teacher on testing day. We dislike it as much as you do.


Screenshot 2023 05 10 at 10.54.50 AM
Screenshot 2023 05 10 at 10.54.50 AM


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