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As the school year winds down, it is not just students who are having a case of the "I don't wanna's." Teachers love what they do and have a passion for teaching kids day in and day out. But, they would argue that they are just as tired as students. So, here are some ways that teachers can finish the school year off strong.
Take a Deep Breath...or Two or Thirty
As the days get colder and the school year seems like it will never come to an end, it is easier for teachers to lose their patience. The kids act like monkeys at a zoo some days and with all those inside recesses, you might just feel like crawling out the window. Just like we teach kids to take deep breaths, or even Daniel Tiger's mom teaches to count to four, teachers can take own advice. Take a deep breath, then continue on with your day.
Give Yourself Grace
All the deadlines needing to be met, conferences to attend, end of the school year activities, and still needing to finish teaching the standards can be overwhelming. If you don't get to that math lesson because there was an unexpected assembly, give yourself grace. If you got a little more irritated with "that student" than usual, give yourself grace. If you feel like you're spinning in a hundred different directions and you're more on edge than usual, give yourself grace. Unexpected twists and turns will come, and using flexibility is a must.
Let Yourself Relax
When you get home, try to relax as much as you can. It is hard going from teaching back home to your family responsibilities. Relaxing looks different to everyone whether you are an introvert or extrovert. But, relax in the way that is best for you. If you need to buy fast food more than you usually do so you can relax that night, than do it! If hanging out with friends is your jam, than go grab coffee or dinner one night. Or, maybe you just need to go to bed earlier than usual do if you're feeling tired.
Remember Why You Started Teaching
You became a teacher because you wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids. No one will truly understand what goes into being a teacher. It is a calling that only a few are able to do. Although you may be tired and summer is just around the corner, keep going strong. Think about the progress your students have made and how much they have learned this year. You are doing an amazing job and can finish the school year off strong.
If you can't beat them, join them. You may notice that just having a little bit of fun with your students is just what the doctor ordered. Lessons towards the end of the year may look a little different. Of course, learning still needs to take place and the classroom shouldn't be a free for all. But, maybe motivate your students that if they finish their work, the last ten minutes you could do...
- board races
- thumbs up 7up
- a dance off
- joke competition
There are a lot more things that could go on this list, but you get the point. Be creative with what motivates your students, because you know them better than anyone.
Keep on keeping on teacher. You got this. You are exactly the teacher those students need and may be the reason they are waking up every morning to come to school. So, when the tiredness sets in and you feel like the days are like a run on sentence, just remember that you are doing a fantastic job.