At North Allegheny Intermediate High School, when the Easter Break was finished and the students came back to school, the teaching process grew even more arduous than at any other time of the school year. I believe the same is true from year to year. Why? The sun is shining, students are yearning to be outside after the confinement of winter, most are no longer interested in learning, and to quote my late, great, former principal, “The sap is flowing.”
Dilemma: What to do in this circumstance?
Answer: Keep teaching!
I advise discussing the student “shut down” with the students. Be a motivational speaker for them! Let them know that their work stoppage now will directly affect their overall grade for the year, which is a motivator by itself (or at least it was in my district.) I always told my students that I had “saved” some of my favorite and most valuable lessons for the after-Easter doldrums so that I could re-ignite their desire to learn, and that for some of the class, these would be their favorite lessons of the school year.
Although this point of the year is laborious for the teacher as well (it is tough to do standup comedy before an audience that isn't laughing), keep your energy level up! Walk around the room even more to raise each student’s level of concern. Create some hands-on or pair share activities that allow the kids to interact with each other a bit more than usual and help them to use their energy in a positive way.
You can do it. YOU ARE A TEACHER!
I welcome comments, opinion, and feedback, as well as suggestions for topics.
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