Not so long ago, I was in your shoes, excepting that this job at Learners Edge was waiting for me in mid-June.
I was teaching high school English to sophomores and juniors. I was 5 months pregnant. My classroom got AMPLE afternoon sun from the south. No air conditioning. Stuffy, even with the 3 oscillating fans I had positioned around the room to blow the hot air around. (Lovely for the “blooming” pregnant woman, by the way.)
No homework was getting turned in. Students were tardy constantly, even though I always reported them. The smell of teen sweat and a lot of body-odor-concealing products was palpable. The uniforms that my students were supposed to be wearing were turned into merely “suggestions,” because teachers (me included) grew weary of saying, “tuck in your shirt, please.” The students stopped caring, and honestly, I stopped caring too – occasionally.
We still had to fill each 45-minute time block, though. I still had to find stuff for the little buggers to do. Not sure how I did it – my mind was completely scattered- but somehow we managed to cross the finish line with a tiny bit of dignity. It was extremely validating to read Joe Gaston’s article– we all know how the end of the year feels, but Larry Ferlazzo’s article – I tried many of these suggestions to keep me and my students relatively sane.
A few of my favorite end of the year sanity keeping strategies included:
- Make a point to eat lunch…with others…we are all guilty of grabbing a granola bar and eating lunch quietly in our rooms. Connect with others – camaraderie can be energizing!
- Encourage your students to go on a virtual field trip (we have a course on Virtual Field Trips) and explore somewhere they would like to visit this summer.
- Reward yourself and kick-off summer by picking up a light summer read and digging into a chapter a night, even before the school year ends.
Enjoy, and hang in there. You can steal my mantra and adapt it to your own time schedule if you like. I stole it from someone else.
“2:30 comes every day. Friday comes every week. June comes every year.”
Welcome to June!
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