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Overcome the Midweek Rut at School

Jayne Miller wrote this on Mar 9, 2016

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It’s Wednesday. You’ve come so far. And yet, there is further to go.

The midweek rut is real. Energy is low. Maybe your course discussions are stagnating and it feels harder to muster the motivation to really dig in and engage with your class.

Here’s a secret: the midweek rut is beatable.

Set Make Time

I learned about make time last year. It’s time to think and focus and truly create.  When operating within a school schedule, it’s easy to favor 30-minute chunks of time for specific tasks over broader chunks for creating and developing. (And it’s harder to avoid meetings, because many are mandatory.)

In the context of a school schedule, you might only have a 30-minute chunk for make time. Or an hour before school starts. Or half of a precious prep period. It might not sound like much, but it’s something.

If you’ve got a case of the Wednesday blues, try devoting time to a project you always wanted to spearhead at school, but never got off the ground. Or just brainstorm and/or map what’s happening in your classroom and give yourself some time to think about where you’re headed.

Even when my plate is stacked with other items, chunks of time for thinking and creating provide new excitement and motivation.

I find make time energizing. Even when my plate is stacked with other items, chunks of time for thinking and creating provide new excitement and motivation - all while feeling productive. And I ultimately return to my to-do list more focused.

Have Something to Look Forward To

All classroom activities aside, our lives outside of school contribute to our energy level and motivation.

If you’re simply low-energy because of a middle-of-the-week rut, think forward to the weekend. Making weekend plans on Tuesdays and Wednesdays has been known to put extra pep in my step. Grab your phone and make a quick dinner reservation or text someone to do coffee or lunch. All of a sudden there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Get Energy From Your Students

As an educator, your work constantly comes back to students.

It’s possible that your students will push you through the midweek slowdown - if you let them. Harness their energy. Find inspiration in their questions, drive, and perspective. Maybe that means switching up your standard class period for something uber collaborative and/or discussion-based. Or seeing what happens when you ask your students to lead class.

Another idea: tap your student’s energy with something like a class-wide poll. Maybe it’s directly related to what you’re working on now. Maybe not. Maybe it’s silly - just to get you through the day - or perhaps it aims to give you something to look forward to later in the week:

  • What else do you want to learn in this unit?

  • What kind of group project would be exciting to you this term?

  • If you were leading class on Friday, what would you do?

  • What’s the best part of this class?

  • What can we make better about this class?

  • We have [x number] of classes left together! What do you want most out of that time?

  • A year from now, what will be the most memorable aspect of this course?

  • What makes you excited to learn?

 

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Topics: Student Engagement, Teachers, Inspiration