How many of us are already counting down the days until the last day of school? How many of us are tired? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? It's no secret that teaching is hard and can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. When we are counting down the days until the last day of school, are we giving our best? I challenge everyone of us to to stay strong and stay positive. It is easy to get lost in the negative, but we mustn't let these negative feelings overshadow all that is great about what we do. Let's take a moment to shift our perspectives back to why we do what we do. We do what we do because we love children, we are invested in them because they are the future of our country, and we care about them‚ deeply!

Ideas for Spring Renewal Teachers: As educators, we must support one another, stepping in to build one another up when we are feeling weary. Remember, collaboration is the foundation for great things in teaching and learning.

  • Lesson Plan Exchange: Have a monthly lesson plan exchange. Each participant brings a fun and inspiring lesson/activity idea to share with the group. Prepare the materials for the lesson(s) as a group.
  • SOS: Get together weekly (frequency can be determined based on need) to support and encourage one another. By sharing what works and remaining solution-driven, we shift from feeling hopeless and alone to empowered and motivated.

Students: With just under three months left in the school year, we have plenty of time to honor our students (every single one!) for their accomplishments.

  • Notes of Kindness: Send a note of praise, support, or encouragement home with each student before the end of the year. This can be as simple or robust as you wish, perhaps even giving a favorite book with a personal note from you on the inside front cover.
  • Garden of Kindness: To promote kindness among your students, create a class bulletin board with a garden of paper flowers, sun, and rainbow‚Äîthink Spring, think happy. Place all your students' names in a hat. Students will draw a name and write something they like, value, appreciate, and/or admire about the selected student. In keeping with the Spring Renewal theme, students may write their notes on precut butterflies, flowers, clouds, etc. Students then place their positive notes on the bulletin board for all to see.

Parents: Don't forget‚...every student is someone's child. Always lead with something positive. Parents need to know that you see the good in their child, too.

  • Roll Call: Select two families each week for whom to reach out. The sole purpose of this connection is to share how much you enjoy having their children in your class. It is time to celebrate their accomplishments and growth‚Äîregardless of how small.

The impact you have on your students' lives may be deeper than you ever imagined. Knowing they will see your supportive and welcoming face at school may be the only thing that gets them through a family crisis, an argument with a friend, hunger, academic struggles, and/or a rough morning at home. This is a huge responsibility, but you are made for it! You can do it! Be present for your students. They need you. Be your best for your students. They deserve it! Be positive and encourage your students. They are great and they need to believe it! Think About It: What makes you great? What makes your students great? What makes your coworkers great? What makes your school great? We'd love to hear your ideas for spring renewal, as well as your stories of greatness!