Three Ways to Survive Teaching in the Spring

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Anyone who has experienced multiple springs as a teacher knows what this time of the year means. Spring is the time of the year when chaos starts to brew. With the weather getting warmer, (I know we just had snow a week ago), students are a bit more anxious. Some teachers are interviewing at other schools and when students find out they begin acting out.  Not to mention, this is also testing season. ISTEP is going on, IREAD scores are in, and there is the end of the year assessments and final exams just around the corner. Even teachers are thinking about those summer plans they have been planning for months and they realize summer is getting closer. I have been fortunate enough to experience seven of these springs in education, and each year there is a new challenge. Over those seven springs, I have found ways to manage and make it through the end of the year. Here are three ways to survive teaching in the spring:

1.    Do not look forward to the Summer: If you begin to look forward to the summer, it will be all you think about. You will be so focused on what you have planned for the summer and not what you need to do to finish the school year. Looking forward to the summer will not bring it any closer; it may instead make it go by a little longer. Looking forward to the summer means you are not thinking about what is currently happening in your year.

2.    Tighten your systems: At this time, more than any other point of the school year, it is crucial to make sure your systems are tight. Your students will try you. Take a moment and review your systems; focus on the ones that you need to refine and retool.


3.    Bring some fun to your room: Your students are thinking about all the fun they are going to have in this summer. For them to remain focused on school, you must bring joy to school. Think about classroom projects and activities. Go outside more. Use the beautiful weather to allow them to be in a larger space for learning. Create activities that will enable your students to get up and move. Bringing fun to the room will make students think less about the summer and more about school.

It's spring which means it is not summer yet. You still have so much that you have to accomplish before you send your students off for the summer. Remember these tips to help you not get summeritis.

 

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David McGuire

Mr. McGuire is a middle school teacher in Indianapolis, Teach Plus Policy Fellow, and currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Indiana State University for Educational Leadership. Driven by the lack of having an African American male teacher in his classrooms growing up, David helped launched the Educate ME Foundation, which is geared towards increasing the number of African American male teachers in the classroom. A born and raised Hoosier, he is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for all students in Indianapolis. He describes his educational beliefs as a reformer grounded in the best practices of traditional public schools, where he was mentored by strong leaders. David graduated from Central State University with a degree in English and also holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.