END-OF-YEAR SURVIVAL TIPS

For tired teachers.

If the school year has flown by but now is creeping along, you’re not alone.

Many teachers this time of year are teaching students who are anxious about the school year ending and summer just around the corner. Unfortunately, the summer isn’t that close just yet. To help you and your students stay focused and productive to the end of the year, several of Teaching’s featured writers have shared tips you can use in your classroom to not only make it to the end of the year, but to enjoy every minute of it.

1. Don’t fight the system.

When it comes to canceled lessons and other unpredictable and school-related matters, there is really nothing you and I can do about it. Keep your cool and continue as best you can. As the old saying goes, “pick your battles wisely.” Fighting the system will only make your job harder but there are plenty of things you can do that aren’t just about surviving in the classroom.

2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Teachers.

So what if other teachers seem to have better control of their classes? It might take you an entire year to develop a classroom management plan that is effective for your class, but again, so what? You are unique.

3. Stick to teaching core subject skills until the very last school day possible.

The trick is to continue teaching important educational and subject skills (not just those that are test-related) in a fun and motivating way. (see #9,#10)

4. Balance Your Life.

Don’t compromise on fun and meaningful activities that make you feel good about yourself. Start each day in an empowering and confident way. Don’t succumb to the pressures but rather accept them for what they are, realizing that they too, shall pass.

5. Start Your Day in a Positive and Affirming Way.

Remember the law of attraction – positive attracts positive. Don’t say: “I wish my classes were be easier to teach at this time of year” or, “I wish I didn’t have to go through this…” because you’re still focusing on those negative elements and affirming to yourself that they are there. Instead, focus on the positive in your teaching: the ability to inspire and motivate students and teachers. Write down these affirmations in a place where you can see them every morning as you begin your day. They might even empower you.

6. Adapt.

Adapt classroom management skills and instruction to suit new classroom situations. This requires a great deal of flexibility and teacher intuition to know what skills you need to be using at a given moment. For example, if you find yourself teaching a small class for one lesson, provide interesting and well-paced lessons to suit small groups of students.

7. Have Lots of S.O.S. Kits!

Some classes may need a Plan B and even Plan C. There’s nothing wrong with over planning.

8.Praise, praise and praise!

Use a lot of positive reinforcement to suit the ages of the students you teach. A little bit of praise will go a long long way.

9. Plan.

Have a Plan to Prevent Your Rules From Coming Apart.

10. Have Fun and Interesting Review Sessions.

Have practice and review sessions of the material you’ve taught. There are so many, many ways in which to do this but choose those activities that speak to your teaching style.