Hey there! How’s it going? Does this winter feel like the Energizer Bunny or what? It seems like it just keeps going and going. I know lots of places are getting a ton of rain, still more snow, and all the wintry stuff that can make this month crazy hard to get through. I hope you’re having a great month, but if not, today I wanted to send a few words of encouragement to you as we hunker down and wait for spring.
Before we jump into anything practical, let me just say:
I know the kids are whining. I know it’s hard to make it through all the lessons every day. I know you’d probably rather be under a blanket watching Netflix.
But you have GOT THIS! This is no time to throw in the towel on anything that has been working for you previously. We really are in the home stretch of what can be a difficult schooling season. My trusty calendar says we are much closer to spring than it seems. Just over a month from now, we will be having longer days, more light, and, I’m almost certain, better attitudes all around!
In the meantime, here are a few things to try as we push on into Spring. I hope these help you keep (or find) your motivation:
Approach Something in a New Way.
Now is the time to mix things up. Re-order which subjects you do when. Change locations or move furniture around. Use Quizlet or another computer program to drill facts or vocabulary terms. Race your student to see who can finish math fact sheets first. Or check this list for even more ideas. Changing up just one or two things can be a shot in the arm when you’re just not feeling it.
Seriously. Multi-tasking can suck away all your mental energy (and your joy, too!). You’d be surprised how much faster you can get things done when you are really focused on them, one at a time. So get the student(s) you’re not working with occupied, put the phone in another room, turn off your watch notifications, and give whatever you’re doing a solid 15 or 30 or 60 minutes of your undivided attention. That feeling of completing one thing can give you the momentum you need to power through the rest of your to-do list.
Forget Community. Find a Mentor.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good community (have you seen how great the Joy in Math Facebook group is?)! But sometimes what you really need is a good, old-fashioned mentor. Someone who has walked your road and wants to help you become a better educator/parent/person. They don’t have all the same problems right now that you do, they have more perspective, and they can help you see the forest when all you spy are the trees. Seek them out and have coffee, a text date, or a FaceTime chat. A great mentor will not only mold you to be better at what you do, but they can help boost your spirits and encourage you, too.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You’ve got this. The consistency and perseverance that you and your students are showing now will reap major benefits as they master both math and the temptation to give up on things.