The school year is starting to wind down, and behavior management and curriculum are becoming more challenging. Many of us teachers are dealing with state exams and finals. We are tired, ready for some sunshine, and looking for some words of advice to help us get through. I reached out to the wonderful educators of the world and asked them for teacher advice for teachers based on how to survive the rest of the school year with dignity! Here is what they said.
Teacher Advice For Teachers
I always feel like we get unsolicited advice from people outside the realm of teaching. We have been told to take care of our mental health, help new teachers, and make sure we enjoy life outside of the classroom. But, all of this advice often doesn’t help us survive the end of the year. So here is teacher advice for teachers! We really do give the best teaching advice anyway!
Go outside on your lunch- even just 5 minutes of fresh air helps lift my mood.
- Jaclyn Fern (grades 2-5)
Every child loves outdoor recess, and teachers need fresh air too. Allow yourself to take your lunch to the picnic table or on a bench. The sunshine and fresh air of spring can lift moods.
Try to get the kids outside- take books to read with a buddy, let them chalk, clean up the school grounds, plant something… you’ll all feel better.
- Shannon Teresa (grade 3)
Sunshine is always the best, and if you and your students can enjoy it while helping your school or just by enjoying each other’s company…DO IT!
Work stays at school
Don’t take any work home! Turn off email or app notifications after 4 pm. Enjoy your family/hobbies!
- Heather Boone (grade 1)
This is not only great advice for right now but also for first year teachers. Students are not expected to answer their emails or respond to classroom announcements after the last bell rings, and after your contractual hours are up, you shouldn’t either!
Don’t take on more than you can handle. You might not be popular with those who always go the extra mile but stick to your guns when your principal asks you to start a club or join a committee. If you can’t handle more, don’t do it.
- Heather Morren (grades 2-4)
Pick your battles
The saying “pick your battles” takes on a whole new meaning this time of the year. Only fight the ones that truly must be fought.
- Chelsea Tornetto (grade 7th and 8th)
This battle may be with a parent, student, or administration. Sometimes it can be small, like calling out during a lesson. Sometimes it may be larger, like looking to change the schedule or classroom management issues.
Be smart and pick ones that will not cause you too much stress during these last few months.
Remember that you might be the best part of your most challenging student’s day. Remind yourself each day what you want your students to take away from you/your class.
- Amy Mitchell (high school)
Get creative with grading
Get creative with how you grade to save yourself tons of time. Don’t grade everything! Choose some strategies that work for your classroom.
Can you grade an assignment for completion? Are you able to grade a writing piece for one or two concepts (main idea or organization etc.) Use Google Forms to help you grade since it will grade for you. The bottom line is, cut your grading time however you can and don’t take it home with you. Work stats at work!
- Katie Wilimzig (grade 4)
Teachers struggle with leaving work at work and during this time of the year. We need to take this advice seriously. We should not need to work overtime to grade during the spring months. It is beautiful out, and we need to enjoy it while we can! Remember, we need to have a life balance to be our best teacher self.
Be sure to have fun, laugh, smile a lot and rethink grades altogether. Make it easy on yourself and make it rational for the kids.
- Seth Perler (Elementary)
Laughter is the best medicine
Find something to laugh about often. Or intentionally laugh-yes, I mean just laugh. It may feel a little odd at first, but your body gets the same benefits from intentional laughter as it does from genuine laughter. (Hide in the bathroom or closet or step outside if you need to at first). I teach laughter wellness- it works!
- Anne Barger (Assistant Principal)
It is always a great day when you have some laughs with your coworkers or students. This advice is one of my favorite pieces of advice. Education is sometimes very serious business and sometimes laughing is necessary.
Respectfully challenge any extra paperwork that doesn’t benefit the children.
- Lynn How (Primary, UK)
Some paperwork is necessary at the end of the year. You may have to fill out a form about furniture or the classroom. Decline anything that may be busy, or use your coworkers and see if they have to fill out the same forms. Work together!
Countdown the days
Start a countdown! Getting to change that number each day helps me to know there is an end in sight!
- Stephanie Micci (grade 1)
There are so many different ways to countdown to the end of the school year. You could use balloons, envelopes, or just write on the board. Celebrate a student a day, or pick a fun activity to complete as a class. Make the last days as enjoyable as possible for you and your students.
Enjoy the moments rather than feeling like you have to get through the curriculum. Students love to be seen, heard, listened to. Laugh with them, take breaks and continue helping them feel loved. You know how to teach, so have fun doing it.
- Russ Green (Physical Education & Driver’s Ed)
No matter what advice you hear, always go with your heart, and know your students want you to love them and show them the way when it comes to learning. Whether you teach middle school, special education, or elementary school, your students love spending each day with you.
My personal teacher advice for teachers
All of this teacher to teacher advice is amazing, and I agree with 100% of the above. They are great teaching tips for the whole year, not just the end. I wanted to give you my little piece of advice. My advice is to make learning fun the last few weeks. Plan activities to get your students moving, learning, and just enjoying themselves. The past couple of years being crazy. These kids deserve the fun and excitement of the last days.
Teacher advice for teachers- Get some help!
If you are struggling to come up with activities you think your class will enjoy, sign up for my email list below, and I will send you 20 end of the year activities your students will love, but you will too!
Here is one more bit of advice. Use the resources of other teachers to make your job easier! I have so many blog posts to help make your school year easier. I wanted to share a couple I think you will find helpful!
Keep on, teachin’ on!