This past school year has been one of many challenges for students, teachers, and families. From navigating remote learning, practicing distancing in schools, and relying on technology in new ways, it’s been quite the year.
As summer break rapidly approaches, now is the critical time to keep students motivated to finish the year focused and optimistic. How can you best support your student during these last weeks of school? We have some ideas…
Lead with Empathy
Since this has been an unprecedented school year, it’s unsurprising that students may be feeling overwhelmed and tired. While it’s important to continue to maintain due dates and expectations – especially for homework, projects, tests, etc. – remember to lead with a spirit of understanding. For students struggling to meet due dates, or resisting completing homework at home, take the time to talk with them about what’s going on. It could be the stresses of finishing the school year, the ongoing pandemic, or something else entirely. Taking the time to understand where they are – and what they need – is a critical way to boost motivation through the rest of the school year.
Change the Scenery
As the weather continues to warm up, now is a great time to take learning outside! For remote learners, encourage students to complete tasks outdoors – especially those that don’t require WiFi. Something simple like sitting on the back porch or spreading a blanket on the yard to complete work can help re-energize students. Similarly, for students learning in-person at schools, teachers can take advantage of nice days to bring lessons outdoors. This change in scenery can help students better focus on topics, and even complete work more quickly and effectively. A change from the everyday routine can make a big difference and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Now more than ever, celebrating the big and small wins is so important! At home, celebrate when your students complete a difficult task, finish a test, or turn in a large project. Taking the time to recognize and acknowledge their accomplishments is a great way to keep them motivated. Remember that celebrating the small wins is just as important as the big! For in-person learners, teachers can consider a “Wins Wall” or something similar where students can be recognized and share their accomplishments. Celebrating large and small wins is very significant for students, and will help them stay on track for finishing the school year positively.
Provide More Support When Needed
If your student is struggling, remember that there is more support available – outside of parents and teachers. Knowing how to “Take N.O.T.E.” and observe whether additional support is needed is critical to your student’s academic success. Giving them the help and support they need, even if they don’t know to ask for it, is the ultimate tool in keeping them motivated and on track in their academic journey.