When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Keep Going . . . At Least Until Summer Break.
Tough? Yeah, that’s this time of year.
Looking for inspiration? Read on. If you hold on to the end of the post, you’ll even find some practical ways to make it through to summer.
No matter what age your students are, they’re feeling impending summer. And that means you are, too.
Maybe it’s not the time of the year for you…it’s just this year. Life. Circumstances.
I can relate. I’ve been in and out of the classroom this semester, caring for my son who’s recovering from a serious auto accident. I’ve had my share of guilt—mom guilt, teacher guilt, you name it. When I was at school I felt like I should be home and vice versa! But the good news is, teaching is about more than the material we cover tomorrow …
It’s about life, too.
No matter what age our students, they’re not just watching and listening as we cover Shakespeare or spelling. They take our temperature by our smiles, our tone of voice, our reactions.
And they learn. Some days they learn a lot about Shakespeare…and some days they learn just a little about life from that person in front of the room.
Usually I can sell Shakespeare to a sixteen-year-old pretty well—but some days, not. Maybe I’m off my game or maybe they’re off theirs. But what they’ll often remember is me. And them.
How did I relate to my students, bad day or not? They’re not all “hit it out of the park days,” but sometimes I have to stuff it enough to teach. A little Shakespeare, a little spelling, a little lesson in a thing called life.
Tough day or not—tough time of year or not—try a little l-o-v-e and r-e-s-p-e-c-t, and the lessons will abound.
And now…how about some practical ways to help make it to the end of the year?
1. Encourage. Look at the glass and proclaim it half full today!
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (And especially at this time of the year, so much of it is small…)
3. Praise! It’s amazing how students respond to a good word. It makes them beam.
4. Take some notes for next year. That will help you look back with fondness and maybe forward to fall with some hope. What awesome idea did you have this year when the unit was finished? Start a file.
5. Have some fun. Laugh! Yes, in the classroom, even with those rascals.
6. Ask for help…and be help to someone else. Having a tough day? Switch with someone for a short time, trade duties, something.
7. Surprise your students. Somehow, take them by surprise. They’ll love it.
8. Do something new. NOW? At the end? Sure, why not? Give it a try, and you may be surprised at your—and their—success.
9. Set those students free – to be a bit more independent, that is. They’ve grown over the last eight months. Give them a chance to prove it. Your confidence can inspire them to greatness.
10. Tie a knot in the rope and just hang on. You can do it.
Happy countdown to summer!- author, Laura Groves - photo credit: Matti Mattila
And now…how about some practical ways to help make it to the end of the year? What is the atmosphere of your class right now? Struggling outside of the classroom this year?