Core scripture: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Message: I couldn’t believe it when the notification came out. Midterms were due last Friday? Are you kidding me? How did 4th quarter fly by so quickly? Not sure if you are in the same boat, but it seems the older I get, the faster time passes by.
We had Spirit Week last week. I loved it! They gave you choices for each day. Monday was fancy or comfy. Now, what teacher would pass up the opportunity to wear pajama pants to school? Well, I did. I wore dress pants and a tie to prove a point, telling my kids I dressed in my best because I planned on giving them my best.
The ending of the school year is always crazy, but I savor it. Every last second. I want to put my stamp on these kids and make some memories. It must start now though. Because if I wait till the last minute, things get rushed. Chaotic. Next thing you know, I forget to do something. Without further ado, here are some tips on how to finish strong …
- Take pictures and videos. I showed up at track meets, snapped pictures in class, and lugged my Surface Pro around the entire half day last Thursday to capture glorious moments in the assembly, dodgeball, clubs, and even the hallways. These pictures will don my end of the year scrapbook, and the videos will be spliced together to let the kids see their last day video. I just started the video tonight, but I have PLENTY more to do.
- Celebrate students. I give each student a unique award on the last week of school, and I only have one more class to finish up. Each award is individualized with a special note in the middle about how I will remember that kid. On the outside you will find two symbols that represent that kid. And dead center each student has a label for their award such as “Model Student Athlete” or “Takis Snacker” or “Best Blue Sweatshirt.” I always find nice things to say about each kid as they get their special awards.
- Do something fun. I love doing outside activities in the gorgeous spring weather, and we are getting ready to do the Outsiders Following Directions activity. This is when I give them a sheet of paper with tons of insane directions labeled 1 to 30. Only five of the directions are academic. The rest are filled with nonsense like jumping jacks, dancing, and yelling silly things. Of course, the directions say to only do the curriculum related materials, but hey, who reads directions? I get the whole thing on video.
- Share wisdom. Oh dear, how I wish I had more time for this! Especially this year. This group—especially the young boys—need wisdom like a marathoner needs water. I plan on peppering them with stories, quotes, videos, and songs that speak life lessons. Monday I am quoting Tupac Shakur from his song “Changes.” The point is that Tupac sang about making significant changes in his life, but sadly his rival gang killed him. The point is to leave a legacy worth sharing. You never know when your time will come.
- Have grace yet remain firm. You did stupid stuff as a kid, too. Give them some grace. Don’t allow complete anarchy, but you can let your guard down a bit. For example, I had a student shoot Fart Spray in my room on Thursday. I caught him, confiscated the spray, and chuckled as I took a picture of him holding the Fart Spray with all his buddies holding their noses and pointing at him. The look on his face was priceless! It will make a beautiful addition to my scrapbook. I just hope I get to show him that picture at his graduation.
What about you? How do you survive the end of the school year? What ideas above will you carry with you as you prepare for the last month of school? Hop onto my Zoom on Tuesday morning at 6:30 am central to discuss it! The link is below. It is not just time to survive the last few weeks. It is time to THRIVE!
Challenge: I want to meet you all virtually this week! I have followers all over the world, and most of you I have never met before. Hop on my Zoom link below. Say hi, and stay as long as you wish. Even if you can only come for a few minutes to introduce yourself, I want to see you. WITH your camera on! (Don’t even begin to remind me of the old days, teaching over Zoom for a year, staring at three out of 15 screens turned on.)
Clint speaks: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qLT-pykqaO3BLXog9yaP2Wl5DaVvjzA2/view?usp=share_link
Tuesday Zoom Info:
- When: This Tuesday, April 18 (6:30 am to 7:15 am central; come and go as you please!)
- Where: On the Zoom link below
- What: To encourage, share wisdom, connect, and pray together
- Why: Because we are Christ followers and we can!
- What: To discuss any of the questions below …
- What scripture helps you power through the end of the school year?
- What memorable lessons do you do to keep students engaged?
- What are some classroom management ideas to help survive the end of the school year?
- What funny stories do you have to share from the classroom?
- What can we do as Christ followers to support one another?
- Meeting ID: 789 4396 6235
- Passcode: m3aPtk
Google Form: I would love to learn a bit more about those who are following my blog so I can best tailor my messages for my audience. I promise this will not take more than a few minutes. Here is the link: https://forms.gle/7wLbp8fFJMCrC77c7
Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …
- Praise God for the opportunity to pour into students one last time before they leave.
- Pray for wisdom on which activities will best fit your schedule and your students.
- Pray for changes in my building and for the transition into the next school year. (Some teachers are being asked to make some major sacrifices and get out of their comfort zones.)
Suggestions: What is on your heart? Is there any topic you would appreciate a Christlike perspective about? Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will prayerfully consider your topic for my blog.
Just for fun: So, one of my students was talking smack that he could beat me in basketball. I told him to meet me in the gym for a game of PIG last Wednesday morning. After he got a P on me, I warmed up, giving him a “P” and an “I” pretty quick. I asked him where he wanted his “G” from. After he pointed to the left corner of the three-point arc, I promptly drained a three and beat him just in time to make it to my SIT meeting. BOOYAH!
Prayer: Father, give me wisdom on how to finish the school year with a bang. Let my actions glorify the gifts you have put inside me. Amen.
Is there any way you could record the meet and share the link? I won’t be able to hop on during that time, but don’t want to miss it!
Certainly! I will try to do that for you.