We all know what this time of year brings. The piles of papers that need to be graded have learned how to asexually reproduce themselves and daily grow to astronomical heights. The Venti at Starbucks disappears before
you’ve even put your car in park in the school parking lot. You’ve worn the same Target maxi skirt for 3 weeks straight because you just can’t even deal with waist bands not made of spandex. If you have to sit through one more parent conference with the same parent you’ve been emailing about their child’s lack of effort you may poke your eyeballs out. You have to implement breathing techniques in order to save the life of the student who hasn’t done his homework in 9 months but still interrupts your final exam review to ask you if there is any extra credit he can do. You are lucky if you can peel your kids off of the ceiling and get them settled down in enough time to actually be able to teach them something before they get called out of your class – again – for another standardized test.
Physical comfort honestly goes a long way in keeping you sane in the midst of the asylum. Have no shame – work that maxi skirt 4 days in a row (because I know you are wearing jeans Friday.) Treat yourself to that T-shirt dress from Target (like the one I am wearing.) Ditch the wedges and throw on the Keds. It will make it that much smoother of a transition into your sweats when you get home.
Most of us teachers are over-achievers. We set high expectations for our students, but even higher ones for ourselves. We get adrenaline rushes when we check something off our to-do lists. On the other side, if we DON’T achieve something we’ve planned we can freak out. The first stage is acceptance. Accept that you will not be able to get as much done in your precious 50-minutes as you were able to in the 1st quarter. It is just not going to happen. Then set realistic goals from there. I am not telling you to under-plan, but this is definitely not the time of year to overestimate our students’ attention spans.
Commit to lab and activity-based curriculum for your end of the year unit. I know getting students out of their seats when they are acting like they’ve snorted pixie sticks in the hallways can be intimidating, but I promise it is worth it. Stop trying to fight the crazy and just embrace it. You can check out some of my review games and activities in my store by clicking the resources tab above!
If you keep reading my blog as it develops, you will learn that I am a firm believer in protecting your home life from the teaching life. I know it may
seem impossible, but I hope I can eventually convince all of you to leave your work at work. Even if you can’t do it year round, for the sake of your sanity (and the lives of your children) do it this time of year. Even if it means staying late at your desk to get it done, nothing is more relieving than going home and just being there. Not checking your email, (it’s only going to be the same parents who have stalked you all year – you know what they are going to say) not grading tests, nothing. If you have too much to grade, do more checks for completion or trade and grades this time of year. You need a break. You will feel more rested and refreshed when you return the next morning if you take it!
As teachers it is hard to not think the world will fall apart if we don’t get
through every single topic. But it won’t. If one of your students fails the
EOC exam, it doesn’t mean you failed or they will forever be a failure. The world will go on. Trust the fact that you’ve done amazing things for your students over the last 8+ months, and a few not-so-perfectly-planned-and-executed days at the end of year, where you can end the year laughing with your kids rather than yelling at them, is worth it in the end. So shake off the stress teacher friends, treat yourself to your favorite espresso drink, and keep your chins up – it will be summer before you know it!