The days of August are now long gone, and it’s challenging to recollect how frenzied they were. However, as we approach the end of the school year, the busyness has only increased, possibly even more than before. The constant activity has left you feeling exhausted, with your mind on the verge of overload, and eagerly anticipating the arrival of summer. But fear not, I have some great ideas that will help you not only survive but even thrive (yes, thrive!) during the final weeks of the academic year.
1. Take care of yourself
Although summer break is approaching and you may be tempted to sleep for the entire first week of break, it is not wise to burn the candle at both ends now. It is never a good idea to neglect your well-being. Make an effort to maintain a healthy diet (even though teacher appreciation week may have thrown you off), and ensure that you get plenty of rest.
Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather by going for a walk, or engaging in an activity that you enjoy. It’s amazing how a little time spent doing something you love can improve your energy levels and attitude.
Tame all your crazy lists and thoughts by performing a brain dump. Dedicate some time to writing down all the thoughts whirling around in your mind. This practice can be such a stress reliever! Create a list of the tasks that are essential, and set aside the others until you can tackle them later. Remember, it’s okay to say “NO”, unless it’s something you can learn from or find joy in doing.
2. Maintain order, keep teaching, but make it fun
Now is not the time to abandon established routines or expectations. If anything, it would be beneficial for everyone to review the learning topics, activities and events for the day and emphasize the expectations. This will help get the day started on the right note and will, hopefully, keep things going on the right track.
To keep students engaged and learning, it’s essential to continue teaching content, but change things up a bit by adding some new topics or challenges. Ask them what their favorite activities were throughout the year and create a choice board so they can revisit those options once they’ve completed a lesson or during downtime.
Give students opportunities for small groups and hands-on activities. Shorten lessons and add time for fun brain breaks. Take advantage of nicer weather for outdoor exploration or additional recess. Include enjoyable outdoor games and participate alongside your students.
3. Don’t overcomplicate things
Simplify your lessons! Now is not the time for complicated, labor intensive lessons. With so many things competing for their attention, it’s best to keep the lessons straightforward and easy to understand. Remember, you have plenty on your plate, so the more you can simplify, the better.
Take a moment to reflect on the academic year and all the accomplishments you and your students have achieved. You and your students have worked hard! Consider taking the time to recognize their efforts by writing notes to them, highlighting their growth and achievements. It’s crucial for students to hear how proud you are of them, as you may be the only person in their lives to encourage and support them.
5. Choose joy
As the clock ticks down to the final days of the school year, maintaining a positive mindset can make a profound impact for both you and your students. Take the opportunity to enjoy the remaining time with this group of kids. Regardless of whether this school year was your most successful or most challenging, make sure to end it on a positive note.
I hope these tips prove useful in making the remaining weeks of the school year more manageable for you. Rest assured that I am rooting for you and confident in your ability to succeed! better for you! You’ve got this!
Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.