Finishing the Year on a Strong Note

As the year quickly comes to a close we’ve begun to see some of our students falling into a “senior slump” of sorts; more students than usual are not completing homework, usually strong students are slipping, and they are showing signs of overall decreased motivation for school. So what can be done? I think the first, and most important thing, is to talk about this situation with kids, let them into the conversation. Then you need to model good strategies and share your experiences with your students. There’s a great quote by James A. Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

Try these strategies to finish out YOUR school year on a solid note and share your efforts and results with your kids, set a positive example for them to follow!

1. Plan and Budget Time: Our kids are terrible at this and, for many of us, this time of year and all that comes with it makes it hard for us to balance our time as well. Show your kids how you budget your time. Do you use a calendar? Something on the fridge at home?

2. Focus on successes/Stay positive: Celebrate successes with your students and let them know that school is still important by emphasizing positive moments. Focusing on the negatives will only serve to drive kids further into the “Isn’t it summer yet?!?” attitude. Remember to stay positive yourself; counting down days until summer sends the message to your students that you can’t wait to get rid of them.

3. Prioritize: There are lots of things that happen at the end of the school year. Focus first on the most important tasks and then enjoy the celebrations and nice weather! Make a “to do” list and celebrate as you cross things off; a completed daily list is a great reason to feel good at the end of a long day 🙂

4. Avoid procrastination tools: Facebook, that TV show you never really watch unless there is something important to do, etc. They’re all used as tools to distract us from completing the important work that we know we have to do. Banish those things from your life (temporarily) to create an optimal working environment.

5. Take care of yourself: Exercise, eat well, and find ways to de-stress. Go get a massage over the weekend, go for a walk, and enjoy your free time so that you can be your best self for your kids.

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