My azaleas are blooming, the sun is shining, and recess could last all day!
Spring is here at last!
Hmm...the weather is absolutely beautiful, so what is it then (testing, worry about the fence sitters, I could go on...) that causes teachers to feel out of sorts in spring??
If you feel the spring time exhaustion, you are not alone. I'm with you, along with thousands of your closest teacher friends!
What's a teacher to do?
Well, there's always the adage, "This, too, shall pass."
But, let's be honest, when you're in the thick of things, that's not very helpful.
I can't calm the winds or take away the full moon days, but I can share with you a few things I do when the days seem to draw out forever.
1) Try a New ActivityDig out an activity you love and you KNOW the kiddos will love!
We have an Author's Craft unit we do each spring, and not only do I love it, the kids love it, too.
You can feel the energy in the room during these lessons.
Dig deep if you have to, but find a lesson or activity to re-energize the class!
2) Read Your Favorite Children's Book
Apply the same tip from #1 to your favorite read-aloud. My firsties eat up chapter books during spring. They love Mercy Watson and Judith Viorst's LuLu, and I know breaking out a book from one of those series will make ALL of us smile!
This is also a great time to break out a favorite from YOUR childhood to share with the class. I have always loved The Boxcar Children and adore sharing it with my kiddos. I mean, quite honestly, the original Boxcar is about as good as it gets!
Pull out your favorite picture books, too. I love sharing Russell Hoban's Frances series during spring.
3) Do Something Different
I know. I know. That takes energy!
But spring is the perfect time to try something new.
Plan and plant a garden.
Go outside and have class.
The clouds are beautiful right now. Take advantage of that and learn about them. Send everyone out to sketch those babies!
If you've never tried online Brain Breaks before,
give them a shot.
My kidlets would GoNoodle or Move to Learn all day if I would let them.
Brain Breaks are seriously good for refreshing students AND teachers!
**Let me preface #4 by saying I don't mean do this every day, and I am not advocating all day recess, just a ONE TIME BREAK.
4) Give Your Kids (and Yourself) a Break
Skip the spelling test this week...or homework...or an incredibly boring lesson in the math program that causes you to breathe deeply for 30 minutes afterward. You know what I mean.
We've all been working hard and we all deserve an unexpected break
5) Get Student Input
Ask your kiddos what they are interested in learning about and plug their ideas into your lesson, even if you just find books about their favorite topics.
Create a class chart where children can add their suggestions or interests. Children love knowing their opinions matter and feel valued when you take the time to include their interests in your lessons.
6) Spring Clean
Take some time each day to clean out! Spend 20 minutes cleaning out a bin or a drawer. We all know the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a tidy workspace.
Get the kids in on the act, too. All my littles have class jobs, and those jobs change every 9 weeks. Let your students apply for the jobs that interest them and start assigning tasks. Set aside a time each day when everyone does his job. Your kiddos will love it!
Let's face it! Teaching is an exhausting profession.
It's a wonderful "wouldn't want to do anything else" adventure, but it's exhausting.
I hope one of the ideas above inspires you this spring.
And, remember, if all else fails, "This, too, shall pass."
Have a fabulous week!!