I have been rambling on and on about all these snow days. Normally I’m very pumped about snow days, but when we start going into late June to make them up and messing with my summer…
And, not only that but they tend to create this feeling of pressure inside the classroom. I mean, we know that after Memorial Day, the students are NOT going to be focused as much on school as they are on pools…
So, what can we do when we feel the pressure and it’s a bit of crunch time?
Tips for When It’s Crunch Time
1) Prioritize. I always look through my standards and take note of what is most important. There are some standards that are repeated each year. There are some standards that aren’t as “foundational.” Determine which standards are considered priority or crucial for next year and place a heavy emphasis on them. The other ones left can be taught if you have time because when it’s crunch time, you really need to focus on what’s most important!
2.) Trim the fat. When creating your lesson plans, eliminate anything that would take a long time to get to the point. For instance, I love inquiry science, but if you’re on a time crunch, this may not be the best time to do it. Consider eliminating projects or other activities that could be time-consuming. Another example may be to have students watch an experiment rather than performing one. Look for other ways to still get the important concepts taught but in a “faster” time frame. While certain activities are definitely more engaging, with a time crunch, it’s not always what’s best.
3.) Be prepared and structured. Have a structured routine and stick to it. Make sure you have everything you need to be prepared ahead of time and ready to go. This will help eliminate wasted time and keep you on track.
4.) Stronger classroom management. Since your schedule is tighter than ever, you really need your students to be focused on what you are teaching. During this crunch time, you’ll need to run a tight ship. I’m not saying you can’t smile or laugh occasionally, but definitely make sure that your class knows you don’t have time to play around- and mean it. This is definitely the best time to have your class run itself!
5.) Mindset. Focus on today and let the future worry about itself. The reality is you can only control so much. If you are doing the best you can, that is what matters. You can’t always control circumstances that may have caused the “crunch.” While we sometimes think it is our job as teachers to be a superhero to every student, it’s not. The next teacher will do his or her best and so on. You are not a miracle worker. Try to stay focused on the positive and remember that you are doing good enough. You are in no way letting a child (or class) down by not completing everything, not providing enough of something, etc. Not one person can do everything. It takes a village. It truly does.