Four days ago I was dreading the thought of going back to work. I felt over-whelmed and was unhappily anticipating all of the work I had ahead do me.
But for the last three days I have been catching up on my marking and planning, and now I can't wait to go back! I guess what I was really feeling four days ago was that I had lost control, that I was not on top of the work, and that made me feel as though I just wanted to avoid work at all costs.
I think our students often feel this way. When I notice task-avoidance behaviors in my students, I try to determine the cause. It really bothers me when people say that students are "lazy". I think that is very rarely the case. If a student is avoiding work it is usually for a reason, and often they can't articulate that reason. If I think it is because the student is feeling over-whelmed, as I often am, I help them break the task up into smaller parts so that they can feel as though they can handle the tasks one step at a time and be in control.
Another thing that helps is giving the students new and exciting tools to make the work more fun. I know this works for me.
Three years ago, I had an FM System in the classroom. It was wonderful! While it was a necessary accommodation for one of my students, it was a very helpful accommodation for all of my students, and it saved my voice. I loved being the loudest sound in the room when I spoke. It was so much easier to maintain the students' attention. But its real power was discovered when I handed the microphone over to my students. Suddenly they all had something important to say!
I was bemoaning my lack of an FM System to my husband a while back. Although I had asked my principal for one, there just weren't enough funds, (mind you our ELKP classes have them!). So for Christmas my husband bought me an iRig Mic that I can connect to my iPad. After downloading the free VocalLive app, all I need to do is connect to a set of speakers and once again I will be wired for sound!
Now I can't wait to get back to school! I can't wait to hand back the feedback I have for my students on their work- many of them really excelled, so wonderful to see! And I can't wait to demonstrate our new technology. I love my job!