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Staying focused after Spring Break

favicon It’s after Spring Break. For the seniors I teach, this means graduation is in sight. They’ve received admission (or rejection) from college. There’s a bit of an anticlimax in the air. They’re counting down the days.

As a teacher, this is probably the hardest time of the year. The AP exam is coming up on May 10, and my students can do well if they prepare. But motivating them to work hard is not easy right now.

Meanwhile, I’m concerned about the seniors who might not graduate. Four years ago, I lost an advisee just three weeks before graduation. All of a sudden, she stopped coming to school. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get her back. It affected me deeply.

Self-sabotage is a powerful force. Sometimes, success is as scary as failure. And I’m not talking about students. As teachers, it’s easy at the end of the year to disengage, to start looking to August. It’s easy to say, “I’ve taken my students this far. It’s time that they take care of themselves. After all, they’re graduating, and they won’t have me in the real world.”

It’s easy to say this, but it’s also retreating and making excuses. The truth is, My students need me more now than ever before. Therefore, instead of disengaging, it’s important that I stay focused on helping my students cross the stage on June 2 and have a concrete plan for their future.

If I don’t succeed, at least I know I did my best. And I won’t have any regrets if something goes wrong. Yes, what’s coming up is an end. It’s important that I do things the right way. favicon


  1. Beth Silbergeld

    Yes, the end is an important part of the journey, perhaps a piece that is remembered most vividly. There are still seven weeks left, which means that there is both time to self-sabotage and time to deeply impact the amount of work needed to matriculate, at any point. It is limited time with the students whose education we treasure. It is our continued battle to make each moment count.

  2. John at TestSoup

    Best of luck! The hardest part to skin is the tail, as my grandfather used to say.

    By the way, we had an edchat conversation yesterday that would have been right up your alley. It was about using social media to communicate with students.

    I mentioned that you were an authority.

  3. Mark Isero

    Thanks for telling people I’m an authority on something! So I’ve been following, a little bit, the whole edchat thing. I’m interested. When is that? On Twitter? With the hashtag?

    • John at TestSoup

      It’s noon EST on Tuesdays (and, I believe, 7 pm EST on Tuesdays as well). All you do is log onto Twitter, do a search for the hashtag #edchat, and join in! Very much worth it, if you have the time.

    • Mark Isero

      Thank you, John. I’m newish to Twitter, so #edchat will be good practice. I’m looking to expand my PLN, so thank you for the suggestion.

  4. Trisha

    It is always hard to keep pushing at the end of the year and to motivate students to do the same. We all need a cheerleader. Go Mark!

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