I know you are feeling the stress, the pressure of the end of year assessments, and the heaviness of the school atmosphere. But, there are students out there who need us to continue the structure, the patience, and the stamina to help them stay focused until the end.
Remember your why.
How will your students remember you over the summer? (The refreshed, enthusiastic teacher from the beginning of the year or the washed out, sluggish teacher at the end of the year) I understand, this is not an easy time of the year. So, I thought I would list a few tips on how to survive the end of the year to help you renew your energy and enthusiasm.
- Build Upon the Relationships
Stop and talk with your students for brief moments in your class. When the going gets tough, stop and talk. Talk about their lives. Stop and talk about your life. I’ve been in a classroom this week where a teacher has been doing a quick 1-5 emotional check every morning. ‘How are you all feeling today? 1 = horrible and 5= Amazing!!!” What a wonderful way to set the mindset and discover the emotions you are working with.
2. Put First Things First
This is the time of year where the To Do List gets LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG. Take it one day at a time, Complete the most important tasks first and the earliest deadlines first,
Thank you, Steven Covey. His book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was something I actually focused on in an earlier blog and one I used in my classroom. I can tell you right now, the most important thing right now, The First thing to focus on is the students. Do what is best for them. If your mood, your energy, or you stress is not good for the students- leave it at the door or go back to #1 (talk to them about it).
3. Enjoy those last days
Enjoy your job, enjoy the students, and enjoy your colleagues because come late July- you will be ready to get back into your classroom and change lives again. Remember why you wanted to be a teacher and try your darndest to me mindful and intentional in your practice.
4. Are you Tired and Struggling? Yes! …….So are they
Remember, these kids that have been around you all year have learned to feed off of your energy. If you are tired and struggling, they are too. Try to shake things up, add in a brain break, a boot camp or Challenge of some kind to whip your classroom back into shape. If you are having fun, they will too. This excitement can liven things back up for all of you.
5. Communicate with Parents
Award ceremonies are a stressful time, but don’t let this opportunity slip by. Remember and try to send a quick note home with the child, call home or send an email expressing all the progress the student has made throughout the year. Talk with them about some exciting things their student accomplished or some wonderful character choices they made throughout the year. A little ‘You’ve done a great job, Charlie is such a great kid. I’ve really enjoyed having him in class this year!” – goes a long way.
They may not take your advice, but it is important to discuss with them how to prevent that summer slide. They made such great gains over the year, you don’t want them to start the year too far behind.
6. Don’t finish teaching too early
Hunt for some fun activities in your subject area to jazz things up. If the students FEEL like the year is over, then structure and expectations go out the window. Trust me, this makes everything so much harder.
last year, around this time, I wrote a post about a Survival Guide– hear are some fun ideas to get through these last few weeks
7. Spend some ‘Quality Time’ with your colleagues
They may have gotten on your nerves at some point during the year, but they understand your mindset better than anybody. Get together, share your funny stories, and enjoy the company of people who get your job better than anyone.
Have a wonderful end of the year.