I hear it everyday, "I can't wait till June!" I know that I have even said it myself a few times in the last week or so. While the sentiment is completely understandable, it also sends a message to the students that you are ready to be done and move on, which in most cases means no longer having them in class. This is something I really have to work on myself because sometimes my brain works in the realm of, "What is next. What can I do better next time?" When I should still be saying, "What can I do tomorrow to make things better?"
We have a reading teacher in our school who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Of course she is excited to retire and move on to a different way of spending her time, but she is 100% into each and every day she has left with her students. Over the last two weeks, she has been someone I aspire to be more like. She could choose to find easy to implement lessons that would allow her to finish out the school year with little stress, but instead she has been having me come in to co teach lessons with her. She continues to ask about new activities and strategies she can use in her classes. She even asks for activities that will allow her students to use technology that she will have to work to understand herself. I am truly amazed with her ambition to make sure that every student gets all of her energy up to the last minutes she will be teaching.
This is how we should all aspire to be even when the clock is ticking away the final minutes of the school year. It is tempting to pop in a movie the days following standardized test, but let's start rethinking that time or any dead time for that matter. This is a perfect opportunity to work with students on important elements that are not on those tests. Why not take this time to try a breakout edu, facilitate class discussions about digital citizenship, talk to kids about the social issues they wish could be fixed and look up how they can get involved to fix them, or any number of other things that we wish we had the time to do but don't during the standard class times. We need to shift our thinking away from, "Well we are done with what we needed to do this year," to "What can we do together in the time we have left?"