There is no other month like the month of May for teachers. As summer approaches, student behavior begins to get a little…or a lot…out of control. Kids who never act up are restless, tired, and they’re just to plainly put it…DONE!
This wears on teachers. We go into survival mode. We stand in front of the room, trying to keep their attention. It seems like maybe three kids are listening. We end up using more time to correct behavior. Even if students have followed rules and procedures all year long, it seems that at the end of the school year they forget everything. Now this doesn’t go for every student at all. That’s not what I mean. I just mean what every other teacher knows. May is a challenging month.
It makes it hard for you not to be done too. Your effort is low because you actually are physically and mentally exhausted. More so than the rest of the year. Your energy to be ON every second of the day is lower than ever. But…does that mean we stop? No.
I know by the end of the school year a teacher is ready for summer. Probably more ready than the kids, because face it…we do deserve a break. However, it is this time that what we do is most important. It is our last little bit of time to make an impact on our kids. We have to remember that to some of these kids, summer means going home to a family and having fun. While to others, it means they may be losing the most consistent adult in their life…
You. Their teacher.
Through nine months of schooling, we as teachers become a bigger part of these kids lives than we give ourselves credit for. We are their counselor, coach, cheerleader, nurse, lawyer, disciplinarian, and oh yeah teacher. That’s not even all we do. These kids become “your kids.” You learn to care so much for them. Truth is, even if some of them don’t show it, you become that to them to…someone special.
The first time this year I put a countdown to summer on my board it got erased about 30 minutes later. Why? While to me I was celebrating the fact my second graders were becoming third graders soon, my kids saw it as the amount of days they had left with me as their teacher. They told me how sad it made them and they didn’t even want to think about leaving!
On challenging days, remember how important you are to them. Yes some days will be downright crazy and hectic. There’s no other way to put it, but try to find some little joy in the chaos. There’s always something good in every day, even if you have to look harder to find it. Try to have fun with them. Laugh, let them see you be silly (even though if you’re me, they see that all year). Try to be patient and kind. Even though you may have to try a little harder. Forgive kids when they make mistakes or when they disappoint you. We still have time to make a difference and show them we care. We still have time to teach them something else. Take time to take care of yourself so you can deal with the stresses of the end of the year. You won’t have these kids much longer and then you’ll get a new group of kids to watch grow. Face it, you’ll grow to love them too. That’s the joy of being a teacher. We have to remember that what we do matters. Even on days it seems like no child cares. They do. You make a difference. Don’t forget it.
I know for sure that this May has been a challenge for me, but I also know with certainty that on the last day of school it will break my heart a little to see them go.
Just some thoughts.