Six Ways to Help Your Students Survive & Thrive during the Last Two Weeks of School
by Mrs. Ruth Pirrie
& Mom of Two HCA Grads
I was talking to a Highlands mom this week, and she asked me to pray for her daughter. “She’s so stressed,” she told me. “These last few weeks are really getting to her.”
I assured her I’d pray, and as I walked back to my desk, I remembered the overwhelming feeling when my own girls were wrapping up a school year at Highlands. They were here over a span of eight years, and depending on their grade level, the last weeks of the school year were filled with projects and reports; tests and exams; class parties; play dates with friends; honors breakfasts and awards evenings; the spring concert; junior-senior banquet (and all the shopping involved), end-of-year programs and assemblies; graduation events…and the list goes on.
You know the feeling, right?
Throw a few more things into the mix like your own overloaded schedule, spring fever from the warmer days, and those unexpected things that pop up in families…and suddenly it can feel like pure craziness for you and your kids.
How can you help your students survive and even thrive during the last two weeks of school? I talked with some of our teachers and administrators who are also parents, and together we came up with six simple ways to help your children complete the school year strong!
1. Stick with your routines. “Toward the end of the year, with all the excitement, there is a temptation to start living like it’s already summer,” says Mrs. Shein, Elementary Assistant Principal (who has two students of her own). “Routines are so important to children (and teens). Be as consistent as possible with dedicated homework times and locations, bedtimes, mealtimes (with nutritious food), and all other weekly routines.”
2. Be organized and calm yourself, as this goes a long way with students who are feeling stressed. Everyone seems to agree on the importance of pulling out your planner this weekend and making sure you have everything noted in it for the entire family through the last day of school! Talk to your students about what’s on their agenda, check KnightsNet and homework sheets, and don’t forget to read our newsletters. Get everything plugged in, especially assignments and tests, so you can see the whole picture.
Then, remember that it’s okay to say no to some of the extras! There are so many exciting things happening during these last two weeks, but you don’t have to participate in everything or let your child attend every event. Allow yourself to say no in order to truly be there and focus on the things that are most important.
3. If you have a student struggling or nervous about finishing well, consider an incentive that you know will inspire him or her, suggests Mrs. Owens, secondary teacher and also a Highlands mom. “Promise a beach day, trip to the mall, or coffee on the way to school—whatever might encourage your child to stay motivated,” she suggests. “Sometimes we all just need a little extra motivation or reward to stay focused.”
4. Alongside the incentive, be sure to encourage your struggling students from God’s Word and help them personalize the words of Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. For older students making life decisions right now, bring their focus to Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
5. Remain energetic concerning school work (even if you’re worn out, too!). If you’re tired and ready for summer, ask the Lord to recharge your body and heart so that can overflow to your kids! There’s only two weeks left! As Mr. Smith, Secondary Principal (and dad to three Highlands grads), says, “Keep the pedal to the metal until the very end.”
6. Finally, remember the power of encouraging words to help build up your students. Have a positive heart-to-heart chat with them about finishing the year strong and doing their best for the Lord. Mrs. Utz, Elementary Principal, shares from her experiences as a mom and an administrator: “Each child is unique, with different strengths and different struggles. I encourage you to pray with and for your children, letting them know you’re cheering them on! Be your child’s biggest fan…and whether they act like they’re listening or not, assure them of your love!”
If your students are struggling, overwhelmed, or feeling unfocused, we’re here for them (and you)! Send me a quick email at [email protected]istian.org with your prayer requests. It would be our privilege to pray for your students as they finish this 2017-2018 school year.