March 25, 2023
As I am writing this at the end of my Spring Break week off, having gone from hot weather, to freezing weather, and back to hot weather again, I am reflecting on how fast time goes by. When I was little, I would wish for a day or an event to get here faster. I did that once in front of my grandmother and she told me not to wish time away, the older I got the faster it would move. I have absolutely found that to be true as I have gotten older, and I think that has to do with how much we fit into our daily life, or how big our world gets around us as we grow.
In this season of transition, it is no different in the classroom. As the weather changes, so do the students and how they work and act.
Since it’s a Spring Break month most years, it starts off with students eagerly anticipating the holiday and talking about plans, whether to travel or sleep. By the end of the month and after the break, it finds us gearing up for that one last push through the last quarter and into summer.
Students have settled into their social groups and the classroom culture has leveled off, so most days flow with a great routine at this point. They are really getting the hang of being a <insert grade level here>’er and can manage most routine tasks pretty well.
In middle school, my specialty, the sixth graders are shaking out of that elementary mentality and can handle a lot more independence and make better decisions, but are becoming more hormonal and losing their minds. The seventh graders are starting to become a bit more human again, getting past the enraged hormonal creature that has consumed them for the last year and turning into pretty awesome people. The eighth graders are a bit more confident in who they are now, but have a middle school version of senioritis and can’t stop talking about how they can wear what they want or do what they want next year in high school. For those that applied for choice or specialty programs for next year, they are also getting their letters of acceptance, or rejection, and preparing for that transition as well.
At this point in the month, St. Patrick’s Day has passed so the pinching has stopped and the bruises are starting to heal as the green “temporary” hair dye is starting to finally wash out.
There are a few that are becoming nostalgic, already seeing all the changes coming into their life as the school year wraps up, testing, dances, award ceremonies, graduations, preparation for next year–and they are asking more questions.
As they figure out who they are, friendships end, begin, or even strengthen, as do relationships of who is “dating” who. But they do everything in groups, so how it’s even dating is beyond me, other than the nickname for their contact card in their phone.
As you prepare your classroom for the last quarter, I would suggest getting ahead on your lesson plans for the rest of the school year and have them at least drafted out and the master copy in a folder for copy day. This helps so much as you navigate through testing and awards and activities that consume so much time. Don’t forget to have a few games or refresher activities at the ready for those extended hold times to keep them engaged.
This is also a great time of year to start taking inventory of what you have or haven’t used in your classroom supplies, lesson materials, and decorations. You can also start decluttering some of these items and have ready for new teachers that will be coming in.
If you are thinking of a career change or a subject/grade/school change, this is also the time to take inventory of your wants and needs and what is out there. Jobs will start opening up soon and you may be getting your letters of intent to stay or go soon.
Formal evaluations are also in full swing, so if you haven’t done yours yet, be sure to get it wrapped up quickly! If you have already done it, ay for you! Now sit back and enjoy the ride until summer!
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3 thoughts on “Thoughts From a Teacher’s Life – March”
Great post! It’s interesting to read about the transition of students throughout the month. As a teacher, I appreciate your suggestion of getting ahead on lesson plans and taking inventory of supplies and decorations. My question is, what other tips would you suggest for teachers to prepare for the last quarter and beyond? Looking forward to your next post!
Thank you, I appreciate your kind words! I also suggest talking to your admin as it gets closer to end of year. During my EOY chats with my principal I ask about their visions for next year, share my ideas and visions and go from there. I also get together with my grade level and subject area teachers returning next year to bounce ideas and get input on the students coming up to me. Maybe even plan a day to stop in and say hi, introduce myself and answer questions they have about the upcoming year.