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3 Tips to Help Teachers Finish the School Year Strong

We’re almost there, teachers! It’s been quite a year, and you and your students are so close to that classtime finish line! Piarra Pettus, from Rocketship United Academy in Nashville, led us in an inspiring webinar on Finishing Strong: Setting Students up for Summer Success.

In this video, Ms. Pettus shares great some tips to on staying enthusiastic as we end the school year and preparing students for what’s next. She also compiled this helpful resource sheet for you to download. Here are a few key takeaways from the session:

1. Take a Moment for Rest and Reflection
Whether it’s a walk in nature or five minutes of quiet alone, we all need to take time to rest and renew our bodies and minds. A break can give you a fresh outlook of where you are and where you’ve been this year. From that more peaceful state, you can better review your goals and progress from the beginning of the year, and revise and refocus your goals for your finish line. What are three things you plan to prioritize? How can you get creative with your learning activities?

2. Celebrate Successes
Ms. Pettus shares a video from Kantis Simmons (31:38) that ends with this great tip – Celebrate. Pump up students with a (virtual) pep rally! Music! Applause! Celebrate what you have learned together this year. What media can you create to remind them of the growth they’ve accomplished and their bravery to learn in new ways?! Show them what they’ve learned… then do a happy dance about it!

3. Create a Positive Plan for What’s Next
One important factor that will affect the rest of their year and their dedication to summer learning is that you enjoy the time you have left together (22:50). Wherever possible, frame assignments and goals around growth, success, and readiness. Keep it positive! Call their summer homework the Summer Readiness Packet instead of homework… Instead of highlighting the achievement gap the packet addresses, highlight that it sets them up for success next year and in their independent learning skills.

Let’s finish strong and make students feel like they not only made it through this tough year, but that they can do anything they put their minds to!




Published on April 20, 2021

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