Tips for Getting Through the End of the School Year


The end of the school year is a time of disequilibrium  for teachers, students, and parents.  The weather is warmer and our classrooms often become stuffy and uncomfortable.  Thoughts of summer fun flicker through our students’minds as well as ours making focus and concentration hard for many.  Our students often become more active, difficult to manage, or they become lethargic due to the heat and disinterest.  We teachers often become more revved up with so much to accomplish before the school doors close for the summer, but at the same time, we are wiped-out.  It’s been a long year.  Our once eager learners have all but checked out.  We wish we could check out but can’t.  There’s still work to be done.  How can we handle  our students’ lack of interest in learning?  How can we quiet our and our students’ energies so that we are all more at-ease and  they are more engaged?  Read on for some tips to make the end of the school year easier  for all of us. . . .

Using movement is one way to increase your students’ interest in learning and fostering engagement again.  You can use movement (the kinesthetic intelligence) to teach curricular concepts. For example, you might divide your students into groups and give them the task of using their bodies to create geometric shapes.  They will be defining the shape, problem solving, and cooperating to accomplish the task.   Take a look at the concepts you are teaching and find a way to use movement to teach them or take your students outside for a hands on science lab connected to your curriculum.   Moving your classroom outdoors is refreshing and offers an opportunity to move while learning.  It’s fun and  a wake-me-upper, getting the circulation moving throughout the body, increasing a student’s ability to focus and think more clearly.

Movement in general enlivens us and uses your students’ excess energy in a positive way.  Taking a movement break throughout the day will help to increase your and your students’attention and focus.  It is well worth taking the minutes to do it.  For younger children, marching in place and around the room to the rhythm of a a Sousa march will do the trick or move to the beat of a drum.  For older children, The Swings or Jelly Jiggle (Young children enjoy telling you what flavor jelly they are.)  will wake-up their bodies and minds.  To create a state of relaxed alertness, have your students Crane Walk (mindfulness walking) around the perimeter of the classroom room, in place next to their desks, or outside for a fresh environment.  Chances are  if your students need waking-up, so do you!  These techniques are found in my book where you can learn step by step how to do them.

A great way to bring your energies down is to do the qigong exercise Relaxing into the Earth.  Use this exercise when your students’/ childrens’ energies are higher than a kite or before testing to quiet their testing jitters.  Of course, it is a great calming tool for us teachers and parents (and all adults) as well.  Always pause afterwards to feel the effects of bringing the energy downward.  Three repetitions works well, or more if needed.  Even 3 and 4 year olds can do this and become quiet (I know this sounds unbelievable, but I’ve seen it happnen.).  Join me in the video below to learn this relaxing technique.  It’s beneficial for young and old alike.

Navigating the end of the school year is not easy, but using one or more of these techniques will certainly calm the waters.  Let me know how they work for you and your students or children.

Peace to you,

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