How do you Banish the Mid Winter Blues?

Tips for Banishing the Winter BluesThe new is gone… it’s the dull days of winter… and everyone is just dragging through. What can be done to motivate your language arts students to use that vocabulary they have been building?

  1. Make your class so exciting and interesting that NO ONE wants to miss it! I had teachers in school that could accomplish this, did you? I really looked forward to their class because – regardless of the subject matter- I just loved learning from them. Sit down and think about how they accomplished that… then make yourself a to-do list.
  2. Share your passion. This goes hand in hand with the last point. If you love your subject matter and are truly passionate about it, that love with shine through and make your lessons intriguing.
  3. Varying your teaching methods. Don’t always use the same delivery style. Teach with a different vehicle each day, this can include video lessons, online learning, hands on presentations, getting outside, or even using students to teach. Do whatever you need to do to avoid teaching burnout.
  4. Let your students know that you believe in them. When students struggle their self-confidence wains and it’s so helpful to hear from someone that they can do it!
  5. Give your students some options about the direction of the class. Take a vote on how a project is delivered, or what literary unit you’ll study next.
  6. Remind them of their goal. At the beginning of the year, I always like to get each student to write down what they’d like to get out of my class. If they desire to be better writers, remind them that their success in the daily routine will also help them successfully reach their class goal.
  7. Be encouraging but address the elephant in the room. Sometimes, it’s just important to talk about an issue and discuss ways to improve. Involve all the students in finding a good solution to motivate everyone until the end of term.
  8. Use themes that are new or exciting to the students. Sometimes the typical routine lesson is just the “same old, same old.” Use a movie unit study topic that may be about to premier… or an awesome new book that has just been published and create a unit of study around it. You can still meet all of your learning goals, just using a theme that may invigorate the students more.

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