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Surviving March Madness

March 22, 2018 / by Lily Jones

March can seem never-ending. Not only is it a long month, often with no days off, it’s also a time when the school year gets serious. March means gearing up for assessments and freaking out about what you haven’t covered yet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

You can master the rest of March and slide into a successful April with these five tips:

Adjust Your Mindset

In this post, I wrote about the truth behind the teacher mindset. In short, the job of a teacher is never, ever done. No matter how hard we try, there's always more that we can do. This can lead to perpetually feeling overwhelmed... unless you learn to master your mindset. Make peace with the fact that you can’t get to everything and, instead, prioritize your must-dos. Then celebrate when you accomplish them!

Focus on Students

At this time of year, it can be easy to get caught up in all the content we have to teach. But remember to keep your focus on the students. In this video, high school math teacher Chuck Pack talks about how he teaches kids, not just math. When things seem overwhelming, take a step back and find time to connect with and appreciate your students.

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VIDEO: Teach Kids, Not Just Math

Be Flexible

When we feel the most stressed, we can also become the most rigid. Even when you feel like you have a thousand things to cover in a day, take a breath and focus on what would be the most helpful thing to do in the moment. Watch this video to see how Sarah Brown Wessling adjusts her lesson to meet the needs of her class. Sometimes the best thing to do is just go with the flow.

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VIDEO: Go With the Flow: Plan and Adjust

Prioritize Self Care

It’s totally easier said than done, but sometimes the best way to beat feeling overwhelmed is to sink into it. Instead of madly crossing things off your to-do list, step away and spend some time taking care of you. You’ll come back to your classroom refreshed and ready to move forward. In this blog post, Crystal Morey reflects on her self-care journey and shares how she realized that balance is not a wish, it’s a necessity.

Laugh

Above all, find moments of joy and humor in the classroom. When you're enjoying yourself, everything becomes easier. As high school teacher Galeet Cohen says in this video, “The role of humor in the classroom is essential.” Take a moment to appreciate the hilarity that appears in every classroom and share a laugh with your students.

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VIDEO: Don't Smile 'Til December? Humor in the Classroom

Have a wonderful end of March -- you’ve almost made it through!

Topics: Professional Learning, Lesson Planning, Resources, Teacher Wellness

Lily Jones

Written by Lily Jones

Lily Jones taught K/1 for seven years in Northern California. She has experience as a curriculum developer, instructional coach, teacher trainer, and is also a contributing writer for Teaching Channel.

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