Posted by Christy Williams on May 17th, 2017
The weather is nice. The days are longer. Spring Fever is setting in for both you and your students. During this time, it is not uncommon to notice that your students may not be as focused as previously, and you may even be experiencing a dip in motivation.
You may notice that the attention to detail and promptness on assignments is no longer present. You and your students may be battling the urge to arrive late or leave early. As you begin to close out the year, it is necessary to ensure that you have a successful end and not let these feelings and actions override your progress. This success can be achieved through spring cleaning your classroom both literally and figuratively.
Physical Space – Begin combating Spring Fever by refreshing your classroom space. Start by clearing clutter. Remove outdated materials and replace with relevant content and reminders of spring’s arrival. The reminders may be celebrations of accomplishments and progress throughout the year or milestones left to achieve in the final weeks. Changing the instructional space altogether is another way to refresh your classroom. Move your class to a new open space, or even outside if the weather permits. The various physical changes will have a positive impact on both you and your students.
Electronic Space – Over the course of the year you have created and received numerous electronic documents and resources. Take some time to review your electronic files. Eliminate unnecessary items and archive others for later use. This refresh will allow you to experience a clear, organized view upon each log-in.
For You – As the instructional leader in the classroom, you are not immune to the effects of spring. However, it is necessary for you to set the tone for response and performance in your classroom. A few spring cleaning steps include:
- Take time to refresh yourself. Make sure to remain energized and enthusiastic.
- Assess where you are in the curriculum. Identify whether some topics can be combined for shorter lessons. Consider adopting a leave early policy for specific days.
- Vary your teaching style. Consider the use of different resources and materials. Arrange for guest presenters on topics. Try something new.
- Take time to celebrate success for both you and your students. This is especially necessary as you find yourself under heavy stress preparing for various assessments.
For Your Students – Spring Fever may be impacting your students’ motivation and overall performance. You can help them using the following approaches:
- Observe any changes in sleeping patterns and study habits. Offer suggestions for cases of severe impact.
- Build excitement about upcoming topics.
- Remind students of their progress thus far.
- Encourage students to take a more active role in the learning process.
There are many activities that offer a fresh perspective within the classroom when spring arrives. Activities such as cleaning, or changing, the classroom environment and organizing electronic files are physical efforts towards contending with the effects of spring. Self-reflection and refreshing are ways to remain energized as an instructor.
You may also decide to vary your teaching style and implement new policies to increase the motivation for yourself and students. Noting and addressing changes in the habits of your students and reminding them of their progress thus far are among the ways to keep them motivated. Building excitement and encouraging participation are also ways to address student engagement. Through a combination of these efforts, you will refocus your students and create an atmosphere of success for the remainder of the year.