Guest blogger and rising alumna Samantha Macy returns to share more about her end-of-year strategies, and how fellow teachers can help keep themselves and their students present!
May 15, 2018
It's almost the end of the school year here, and for me, this means wrapping up my experience as a TFA Mississippi Corps Member. I've learned so much from teaching here, and I'm looking forward to taking that experience with me as I continue my journey as an educator in Mississippi.
That said, I think the end of the year is a special time for teachers and students, and we should be savoring it, rather than mentally moving on to the next thing. If we push ourselves to be in the moment, we can really finish up the school year strong in our classrooms.
Here's how I will be wrapping up the year strong in my classroom...
1. Avoid the countdown
I believe very strongly that teachers should avoid telling their students how many days of school are left. I have a countdown on my phone, but I never discuss it with my kids. I'll tell them that we've been in school for 167 days, but not how many days we have left. I don't want them to check out and feel like the year is over.
2. Reassess your relationships
The end of the year is your last chance to make a push to engage with some students who you might not have the strongest relationship with - maybe something happened this year that damaged your relationship, or maybe you had a tough time building a relationship with them in the first place. Whatever it is, now is the time that I'm targeting certain kids and sitting with them at lunch, talking with them during recess, giving them classroom jobs, doing everything I can think of to work on that relationship.
3. Remind your kids to engage with their community
By this point in the year, we all know our students pretty well and we know our community pretty well too. With the knowledge of both, we can see where our classrooms can meet with our community, and help our kids draw connections between the two. For my Teach For America leadership project, I'm working on having my kids interview community members about the history of our school.
4. Try new stuff
At this point, most teachers are starting to think about next year, and what they want to do differently in their classrooms. If you have an ideas about trying something new, why wait to test it out? This is the perfect time to try it.
Right now, the new thing I'm trying is splitting my class into two groups during our ELA block, and having one half work with me, and the other half work with the teaching assistant, to try and meet everyone's different reading needs.
We hope you'll help us wish Samantha Macy thanks and congratulations on completing her two-year commitment! You'll continue to see her on our Stories page and in the Jackson community as an elementary teacher.