From Surviving to Thriving: Introduction
After the abrupt ending to school last year, the hope and goal was to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year ready to thrive in whatever format teaching would occur. Many teachers were feeling more comfortable with remote teaching and could see opportunities to engage students in academics, care for their social and emotional needs, and foster a strong learning community. As the 2020 – 2021 school year started, however, the number of unforeseen challenges that have been thrust upon
teachers has diminished that hope and has sent many teachers into a realm of just trying to survive.
Being in survival mode is difficult and can lead to burnout, but there is hope! By making some minor adjustments to current teaching practices, you can feel like you have more time to communicate with students, opportunities to build relationships with students and between students, and see your students’ skills and capacities grow daily. Rather than feeling like you are just getting by each day, join us in bringing back a sense of confidence and spark bliss during the day of teaching that leaves you feeling energized and enthused for the career you are passionate about. Seeing students interested and deeply engaged in work, hearing and experiencing laughter, and feeling competent in the work you’re doing are all goals for this series of blogs and through implementing these tips, you’ll go from surviving to thriving and feel more like the teacher you want to be!
Each blog post will be focused on offering you an idea ready for immediate implementation and an explanation on the benefits of trying it out. We’d love to hear how each idea positively impacts your students, class community, and own feelings about teaching, so make sure you share with us how it goes!
Tip to Try: End with Something Good
At the end of the class period or day, build in a 2-minute reflection time for students to reflect on something good that they will share with others. You can use variations of the question to keep it interesting, however the point is to end the learning time on a positive note so you and the students are reminded of the many successes and good that surrounds each of you. To ensure success, have students brainstorm some big topics they might consider sharing about so all students are able to participate.
Some variations of the question you might consider using:
- What was something good about your learning that happened today?
- What is something good happening in your life right now?
- What is something good about our work on ______ for you?
- What is something good about your health?
By closing out the learning time together in a positive way, students are more likely to share that highlight with their families and you surround yourself with positives about each student. An added benefit is that you have many ideas and topics to converse with individual students about the next day to continue forging strong relationships with them!
We hope this post has been helpful. If you’d like to read more posts in the “From Surviving to Thriving” series, click here. You might also reach out to either Sarah (email@example.com) or Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see how they can help your school navigate the tricky waters of hybrid and at-home learning.