I am not sure where you are in your school year, but if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you are probably past halfway. For me, I am in the last quarter of the year. Getting towards the end.
I find that this part of the year can be the hardest.
I am tired.
I am stressed.
I have state testing coming.
The students are getting spring and summer fever.
I have lost most of the excitement of the year.
Everything starts feeling stale.
I think I go through this every year at this point.
I think this year can be different. I think.
I can choose to feel differently.
I do not have to feel like the year is getting old. I do not have to be stressed. I can manage and prioritize so I don’t feel so tired. I can look for the excitement that I had earlier in the year.
I can choose to act differently.
Einstein said something to the effect that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different result. I need to do things differently than I have in the past this time of year. I need to find a way to build excitement in me and the students. I need to move them towards state tests without it feeling like a grind. I need to remember what worked earlier in the year and get back to those things. I can do this. I will do this.
I can choose to focus differently.
What if I changed gears to confidence building instead of focus on the end-of-year, pre-state-test push? I don’t mean hearts, rainbows, and feelings circles kind of confidence building, but content based confidence building. I can scaffold those that need it to feeling like they really have learned some of what they need to…they have learned, even if not completely to the level I need them yet. Confidence breeds confidence. Maybe if I build momentum I can get them over the hills they are getting stuck on. The same for my kiddos that fall towards the middle. With my higher students, I can challenge them move past my content into higher levels of thinking. Make them feel and know that they will blow the state tests away. Confidence. What if I changed to that?
I can choose to be different.
I can do the things above. I can change the way I do things. I can do this. I will do this!
I can change. I will change.
What about you? Are you feeling the Past-Halfway-Grind? Can you make some adjustments? Can you change? Can you refocus? Can you be different?
You are awesome, so maybe you don’t feel this way at the end of the year. If you do, though, you are amazing enough to make those changes. You know your students need you to, so you will do the work to get it done. You make a difference every day. I believe you can make this year different. I know you will make it better. You can do this! You are a teacher! Keep on teaching, Teacher!