The end of the year is a whirlwind of students wanting to get caught up, teachers trying to fit in those last-minute lessons, state testing wraps up, field trips, and more! However, we can’t let the end of the year stress get the best of us! This time of year can be extremely tiring, but there are ways to cope with the end of the year stress that should be mandatory.
Tip 1: Start a Morning Routine
If you are anything like me, this time of year is crazy busy with everything on your to-do list, especially if you have kids. Not only do you have your work, but you also have sports practices, school activities, and let’s not forget a house to keep in somewhat sanitary conditions. The last thing you want to do is wake up early to start a morning routine, but it can be the best thing for you. If you are like me, getting up earlier is not an option, so I start my morning off with a bit of help from my students. With GoNoodle, our morning starts on the right foot, which can make a huge difference!
Tip 2: Don’t Let Students Feed Off Your Energy
I remember when I had my first child. It never failed; every time I was stressed, so was the baby. If I was running late, my toddler couldn’t figure out where she put her favorite sock. This happens every single time. For some reason, children feed off of our stress! Since we know this, we have to realize we can’t let our students do this. I know, it’s easier said than done, especially in a room full of students who are driving you bananas because it’s the end of the school year. Instead of getting stressed, try to use one of the following strategies to help you cope with a lot of the year stress:
- Take a few deep breaths
- Turn on a brain break and let students get the wiggles out.
- Try putting on calming music while students work.
- Talk in a softer tone.
- Eat healthy meals and snacks
- Use essential oils (if you’re into that)
Tip 3: Coping with Stress by Eating Healthy Meals and Snacks
I know. I know. That bag of chocolate that we all have on our desks is far more comforting than a stick of celery. Plus, you don’t have time to cook! The best meal you get during the day is the drive-thru Taco Bell you grabbed between sports practice and dance class. But there are healthy options you can have ready for when you’re on the run. For example, you might make one of the following:
- Drink a protein shake for breakfast.
- Swap your soft drinks and coffee for an energizing herbal tea.
- Meal prep for the week or try out simple crockpot meals.
- Put healthy snacks in your purse and desk.
Tip 4: Teach Lessons Outside to Lessen Stress
When the weather is nice, it’s hard to blame students for looking longingly outside. So, join them. I love teaching lessons out in the field or under a tree! Bringing the real world to your classes can engage your students like never before. There are so many ideas to explore, especially trying STEM outside with your students. In addition to STEM classes and physical education, you can inspire the love of writing as well. Give students a notebook or bring out their devices and use a digital notebook to allow them to write poetry, describe clouds, or write about a dream for their summer. If you have the technology, you can also let them take pictures and video outside.
Tip 5: Get Plenty of Rest
I know, you read this, and you are thinking, “Hey, didn’t we already talk about how much time we didn’t have?” You need to make time for this! Try your best to go to bed at a decent hour. One thing I’ve learned about teaching is my work is NEVER done! So, when it’s bedtime, go to bed. Much like the dishes, your work will be there tomorrow, and the world will not crumble. Find pockets of time to grade during the day, or better yet, let it grade the work for you using Google Forms if you’re using technology.
Tip 6: Have Fun!
No matter what you do, try to have a good time doing it. You might have the class from you know where (hockey sticks), but you’re going to miss your babies. So, please do your best to stay positive and remember that they feed off of your energy. If you’re having fun, they are having fun. Therefore, you need to do your best to stay positive, even if it means reciting “I am a happy teacher” a million times in your head!
End-of-the-year stress is a real thing. You can cope with the end of the year stress by taking time for yourself, reflecting on your attitude, and ultimately making the best of what time you have left with your students.