As the end of the school year approaches, even the most dedicated teachers are looking forward to a well-earned break. Many teachers are exhausted, and have given pretty much everything they’ve got to their students over the year. It can be hard to stay motivated and keep delivering amazing classes all the way until the end of term, cementing a reputation as a great teacher.
Nevertheless, as students become distracted by the warmer weather and exams come to a close, using a little extra effort and creativity, and by implementing the following five tips can help teachers finish the school year strong.
Stay Positive Until the End
It’s tempting to sit back and look forward to summer, wishing time away and just playing movies to get through the day. But the truth is that neither teachers nor students benefit from that attitude. Instead, consider the fact that this will be the last chance you have to spend time with this class. It’s your last opportunity to make an impression on them, learn from them, and if the state examinations are all done, it’s a rare occasion to teach what you want. It’s uncommon to have the freedom to teach what you enjoy. This change of attitude can make a huge difference to the energy level in your class and your students will be inspired. They will remember you by making their education special and engaging until the very end.
Make sure not to finish your curriculum too early. Not only can it leave you grasping for straws for a couple of weeks if you finish the syllabus prematurely, but your students may go a little wild when they realise they’re done. Stay organised so you can phase the studies out slowly, and mix in some fun lessons, don’t just dive straight into the fun. While more relaxed classes can sound appealing to students, planning real work ensures they continue to pay attention.
Make the Most of Good Weather
As Isla McCann from Best Australian Writers points out, “Sunny summer days can seem like a bad thing when you’re in a classroom, but they can actually be used to your advantage.” This is one of the only times of the year you can take your class outside, change up your formats, and organise low-cost field trips. You can take your classes to the beach, to the park, and host lessons on nature or the local environment all while outside. This is a treat for your students, saves on planning lessons, and you all get to enjoy the good weather while still learning.
Cut Down Your Hours
Many teachers work insane hours during the school year. You don’t need to maintain this schedule as the year comes to an end; cut back on your preparation while taking care not to sacrifice the quality of your classes. Simply giving yourself more down time can give you the energy you need to finish strong. Since your classes are less urgent, allow your students to peer review each other’s work, and cut back on marking. Some teachers even dedicate this time of year to allow their students to plan and teach their own classes.
Try New Ideas and Techniques
New ideas for teaching are always appearing in books and in videos online. This time of year is a great way to get inspired about your profession by learning new techniques and trying them out. You can get excited about something new, but if the new methods don’t work out, then at least it’s not at a crucial time for your students. You can afford to experiment, especially since it will contribute to making you a better teacher in years to come.
There’s no reason to have a sleepy classroom in the build-up to summer. Follow these tips to help inspire your students and grow as an educator in the weeks preceding the holidays.