The end of the school year brings excitement and stress for both teachers and students. With summer approaching everyone is understandably ready for a break, but there are still several weeks of learning, tests and events left on the schedule.
To help reduce stress it’s important to think ahead and plan for the upcoming day or week. Teachers also need to be mindful of their own mood and the moods of the children in the class. Here are a few ideas to help make the school year end without too much of a headache:
Map out your week and your days
Planning is an essential part of teaching, but aside from lesson planning think about other activities you can incorporate during the week when you need to fill time and extend the learning.
Teachers often have a few go to activities to fill this time, but by the end of the year these may become less attractive to our learners. Spending a few extra minutes looking for new material can help make the end of the year more enticing.
Set aside time for prep the day before
Many times I have found myself rushing in the morning to finish out my plans for the day or to get my own personal tasks organized. If I set aside a few minutes each night to collect all of my items for the next day, prep my lunch, set out my clothes and make a list of what I need to do when I get to school I find that I am more on track and my stress levels are reduced. I can actually enjoy my coffee while I finish making copies or responding to emails.
I also build in prep time for my students. Allowing a few minutes at the end of the day for students to organize their materials and supplies for the next day helps the students start of the next day more organized. This helps everyone feel less stressed at the start of the day.
Plan in fun
With all the to-do’s looming at the end of the year it’s easy to get bogged down and forget that teaching and learning can be fun. By planning in a few fun activities each week, both you and the students can get a break and have something to look forward to as you finish out the rest of your requirements.
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Although planning does take time and effort, incorporating fun and structure can create a less stressful day for you and your students.
Written by Tiffany Hamlett, Ph.D., the chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at American College of Education (ACE). She currently resides in the Dallas, Texas, area and has worked in higher education since 2014.