The school year is quickly coming to an end. Most of us begin to shut down and struggle with our efforts to perform every day. Challenges as students become more anxious and antsy for the end of the year can compel us to reduce our efforts as well.
However, it is important that we continue to keep up the rigor of classroom activities, in times like these, to help everyone retain concentration. What happens in the final weeks of our classes will play a huge role on how students feel about and make future decisions related to learning, academics and their thoughts about the entire school year.
While the temptation may be to simply count down the days, the end of the school year provides us the opportunity to help students choose to finish strong. By doing this, you raise responsible learners who demonstrate the growth mindset and put in maximum efforts despite distractions. Here are a few suggestions that we can follow to help students and teachers finish strong during these final school days.
Lead by Example: Students look up to their parents/teachers and are quick to pick up on your attitude. If children hear you talking about wanting summer break to come soon, they also begin to develop the same mind-set. They begin to reduce their efforts as they feel you are not concerned about their end of the year performance. It’s ok to need a break, but let’s frame it in a way that lets them know that you have treasured your time together and wish them the best as they move forward in their academic journey. In times like these, demonstrate for your students the importance of continued growth through hard work and regular school attendance.
Set Goals: Have an intention to make the last few days count. As a teacher, you should have one or two goals to achieve before the last day. Do you want to connect with that parent who you haven’t met all year? Do you wish to allow your student leaders to facilitate a lesson on Minecraft? Make it a priority to put in your best, to influence your students positively during these last few days.
Focus on what matters: When things start to get stressful and overwhelming, we must find ways to maintain focus. Pick your battles and stick to your non-negotiables. You should place more focus on the more important tasks, skills and directions.
Improve the relationships you have built: You have spent the entire year building the relationship between you, your students and their parents. These strong relationships help you have a stronger influence on their lives. You might not get another chance at this, therefore, it is important to utilize this relationship to encourage and make a positive impact on their lives.
Talk to Parents: As a teacher, you shouldn’t just give the final grades and forget about it. You should attempt to speak to the parents, especially of those students who have struggled, suggesting things they can do to prepare the child ahead of the next year. Even if it’s just a simple email, it shows how much you care about their child. Thank them for the opportunity to teach their child this year.
Stay organized: No matter how overwhelming things get during the end of school year, it is important to remain organized, jotting down notes on what worked and what didn’t. This helps to make the next school year a bit easier as you already know what to do when some challenges arise.
Enjoy it: This might be challenging as thing get really “crazy” during this time of the school year. However, instead of just passing through the day, you can decide to enjoy it. See these moments as the last few days you might be spending with this group of student and see them as a gift. This mentality sets a foundation for a more fun ending, making things easier and enjoyable for you and the students.
The end of a school year can be overwhelming, as students begin to show signs of tiredness and teachers begin to feel exhausted. However, teachers should make an effort to make it a lasting memory for themselves and the students. Don’t give up this close to the finish line. Finally, celebrate how hard you and your students have worked this year. You have done a great job and now you deserve a break. (from school not from learning)