Inspired Ideas
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Inspired Ideas

Tips for Teachers to Stay Energized at the End of the Year

By Michele Hill, Educator

Phew! You are almost at the end of what could be called the most challenging two years in education. Congratulations on hanging in there and giving your students and colleagues your very best, but you are not quite finished yet. You might be running low on patience and ideas on how to keep the learning magic alive. Don’t worry, I got you! Why not try some of these culminating projects, innovative ideas, or relationship-building activities to keep learning at the forefront and enjoy the students right up to the end? It will certainly make the time move quickly and be more fun!

  • Student voice and student choice really get the students involved and engaged. Create opportunities for students to lead the learning and/or assignments.
  • Have you heard of Genius Hour? Allow students to pursue their passions and learn on their own while taking charge of their own learning. They can share out their projects to inspire other students to learn something new.
  • Problem Based Learning is great at this time of the year. Students can pursue individual passions while learning real problem-solving skills and developing new skills.
  • Host a virtual showcase with highlights of student work. Invite your colleagues, parents, students, and community members to participate.
  • Gamify it. Create challenge opportunities to solidify or reinforce learning. Check out John Meehan; he is the master of gamifying his classroom and has tons of templates.
  • Mystery hangouts. Connect your students with students around the world with virtual mystery guests. Since the pandemic, everyone is adept at using a video virtual platform and more willing to participate in speaking to others over the internet.
  • Get competitive. Everybody likes a little healthy competition. Develop ways for students to showcase their learning. Prizes and recognition certainly get people excited to be part of the game, so have some on hand.
  • Appy Hour. Have students pick an educational app that most others are not familiar with, and teach everyone else how to use it. Students will see what teaching is like firsthand.
  • Notes of affirmation. Share messages of hope and respect from students and staff with students.
  • Themed days. Create a theme for each day of the week and have activities or trivia that coincide with the theme. The theme can run through the entire class or just the first few minutes of the class. Whatever you choose to do will be great.

We know that everyone who works in a school is tired. We have all hit the wall, but keeping students engaged right up until the very end sends a strong message that we all value learning. After the last bell rings, kick your shoes off and REST. You deserve it! Thanks for being a dedicated educator!

Michele Hill is a passionate educator who serves as a Coordinator of Admissions and Communications and Equity Specialist at Burlington County Institute of Technology. Throughout her career as an educator, Michele has been a champion for struggling and impoverished students. Now, Michele strategically markets and brands BCIT to attract and retain students and staff and highlight the amazing things happening in the school district. Michele has been a guest blogger for ASCD Inservice, McGraw Hill, Principal Leadership, Teacher Tool Kit UK, Edweek and ASCD Road Tested and is the co-author of Fired Up Teachership and 100 No-Nonsense Things That All Teachers Should Stop Doing.

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To be reminded why your work is so very important and for more stories and advice, visit our collection of teacher perspectives at The Art of Teaching.

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