Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
April 26, 2018

5 Simple Ways to Recharge and Finish the Year Strong

By Juan Gonzalez
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Teacher tired is a real thing. I have many memories of walking into my house and falling asleep in my school clothes. For many years I spent the final months of school tired and struggling to get to the finish line. Then one day I realized that the reason I was experiencing more challenges at the end of the school year was because I was focusing on the wrong thing. My focus was on finish line when it should have stayed on the kids.

    This realization changed my mindset in the classroom and led me to have more successful spring months. Some days I’m still tired but it’s a good tired — one that comes with a sense of accomplishment. Today I want to share some easy ways that I avoid getting teacher tired and keep the momentum going until the very last day of school.

    1. Go on a Picture Book Spree

    I’m one of those humans that would spend all my money on books if it were possible. I love books because they inspire teaching ideas and help me connect with students.

    On days when I need a pick-me-up or an escape, I visit my local public library and load up on picture books. This is a great way to find new titles without putting too much stress on our wallets. Reading new books helps me continue thinking creatively and sometimes leads me to new lesson ideas for the current or following school year.

     2. Free Up Your Weekends

    Say “no” to your teacher bag! I know this one isn’t easy for everyone. Here’s the thing, I’m not good at this one during the regular school year. I always bring work home because it’s part of my schedule. However, towards the end of the year when I’m working on projects and other things, I make it a point to leave my weekends open for regular life. I do this by committing to work longer hours during the week. My weekdays might run longer but I get my weekends to focus on family, friends, and myself. These weekends help me recharge the most during the final weeks of school.

    3. Try a New Teaching Idea

    This piece of advice is my favorite and it keeps my spark going the most. The final weeks are the perfect time to try out a great lesson idea. There is something about this time of year that makes it more possible to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe it’s a new writing unit, inquiry-based research, or an art project. Whatever it is, go for it!

    Last year, I wanted to bring our magic back to the classroom after state testing. I took out all of the desks from my classroom and turned it into a pretend swimming pool. I told my students to bring books, inflatables, and snacks. Then we spent our entire day laying around, reading, talking about books, and enjoying our time together as readers.

    4. Lift Others Up

    Nothing refuels me more than finding ways to lift others. This doesn’t mean I wait until the end of the year to do something kind, I just make more of an effort to do it often during the final weeks of school. I team up with other colleagues and find ways to bring joy to the school staff. In the past we have created fun message stations for people to leave notes of affirmation, brought in food (because food fixes everything), and made care packages for teams.

    At our school, we used balloons with notes of affirmation inside and a staff member's name written on the outside to spread the love. After leaving the display up for a day, we all took our personalized balloons and popped them for the treat inside. For all the steps to recreate this idea, check out my Instagram page here.

     

    5. Remember That Our Kids are Worth It

    I’m a teacher because of the kids. My students are the reason I stay in the classroom and because I think my life would be boring without them. On some days they drive me crazy but that’s okay. They’re kids trying to figure out the world. When I’m having a bad day and I’m ready to tap out, I think of my students. When I think of them, I’m quickly reminded of why I’m an educator. They’re worth my time and effort, so I need to give them my very best. The picture below is a note that one of my third graders gave me last year. I cried when I first read it because she listed everything I hope to give my students.

    There is no denying that the teaching profession is extremely challenging. On really hard days it might feel like you’re alone, but remember that you’re not. We’re right there with you. Also, remember that you have the power to control what happens in your classroom. Stay motived, recharge when you need it, give love, and teach your heart out!  

    Stay connected with me on Instagram!

    Teacher tired is a real thing. I have many memories of walking into my house and falling asleep in my school clothes. For many years I spent the final months of school tired and struggling to get to the finish line. Then one day I realized that the reason I was experiencing more challenges at the end of the school year was because I was focusing on the wrong thing. My focus was on finish line when it should have stayed on the kids.

    This realization changed my mindset in the classroom and led me to have more successful spring months. Some days I’m still tired but it’s a good tired — one that comes with a sense of accomplishment. Today I want to share some easy ways that I avoid getting teacher tired and keep the momentum going until the very last day of school.

    1. Go on a Picture Book Spree

    I’m one of those humans that would spend all my money on books if it were possible. I love books because they inspire teaching ideas and help me connect with students.

    On days when I need a pick-me-up or an escape, I visit my local public library and load up on picture books. This is a great way to find new titles without putting too much stress on our wallets. Reading new books helps me continue thinking creatively and sometimes leads me to new lesson ideas for the current or following school year.

     2. Free Up Your Weekends

    Say “no” to your teacher bag! I know this one isn’t easy for everyone. Here’s the thing, I’m not good at this one during the regular school year. I always bring work home because it’s part of my schedule. However, towards the end of the year when I’m working on projects and other things, I make it a point to leave my weekends open for regular life. I do this by committing to work longer hours during the week. My weekdays might run longer but I get my weekends to focus on family, friends, and myself. These weekends help me recharge the most during the final weeks of school.

    3. Try a New Teaching Idea

    This piece of advice is my favorite and it keeps my spark going the most. The final weeks are the perfect time to try out a great lesson idea. There is something about this time of year that makes it more possible to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe it’s a new writing unit, inquiry-based research, or an art project. Whatever it is, go for it!

    Last year, I wanted to bring our magic back to the classroom after state testing. I took out all of the desks from my classroom and turned it into a pretend swimming pool. I told my students to bring books, inflatables, and snacks. Then we spent our entire day laying around, reading, talking about books, and enjoying our time together as readers.

    4. Lift Others Up

    Nothing refuels me more than finding ways to lift others. This doesn’t mean I wait until the end of the year to do something kind, I just make more of an effort to do it often during the final weeks of school. I team up with other colleagues and find ways to bring joy to the school staff. In the past we have created fun message stations for people to leave notes of affirmation, brought in food (because food fixes everything), and made care packages for teams.

    At our school, we used balloons with notes of affirmation inside and a staff member's name written on the outside to spread the love. After leaving the display up for a day, we all took our personalized balloons and popped them for the treat inside. For all the steps to recreate this idea, check out my Instagram page here.

     

    5. Remember That Our Kids are Worth It

    I’m a teacher because of the kids. My students are the reason I stay in the classroom and because I think my life would be boring without them. On some days they drive me crazy but that’s okay. They’re kids trying to figure out the world. When I’m having a bad day and I’m ready to tap out, I think of my students. When I think of them, I’m quickly reminded of why I’m an educator. They’re worth my time and effort, so I need to give them my very best. The picture below is a note that one of my third graders gave me last year. I cried when I first read it because she listed everything I hope to give my students.

    There is no denying that the teaching profession is extremely challenging. On really hard days it might feel like you’re alone, but remember that you’re not. We’re right there with you. Also, remember that you have the power to control what happens in your classroom. Stay motived, recharge when you need it, give love, and teach your heart out!  

    Stay connected with me on Instagram!

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us