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Teaching Strategies for Keeping Your Energy Up


From time to time, we’ll be collaborating with the staff at Chalkup for article concepts and ideas. Today, the team has shared some thoughts on preparing for finals and keeping energy up in the middle of the semester.

Whether you’re a student or a teacher, by this time in the semester, it’s easy to feel like you’re crawling toward the finish line. You’ve had late nights, long papers, pop quizzes, and crazy group projects.

Is this you? Have you been nodding along, silently thinking, “Yes! I relate to this!” Then keep reading. We have some quick ideas for keeping your energy up and finishing the semester strong.

Revisit Your Syllabus

When the end-of-the-year workload gets you down, sometimes a glance at your course syllabus is enough to put things in perspective and organize your thoughts. First, look at all the ground you’ve covered. Look at all the assignments that have been assigned, collected, graded, and crossed off.

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Now, see that you’ve only got a little bit further to go. The end is in sight. It’s a few more weeks, a few more assignments, a few more benchmarks before this course is in the books.

Looking at a syllabus will help you focus on the pieces, not the whole. It’s when we get lost in the big picture that it can seem overwhelming, but when we break it down into manageable parts (one more test, two more papers), it’s a little bit better.

Take a Coloring Break

Adults can color, too. It’s a thing. And it relieves a crazy amount of stress.

Cook for the Week Ahead

There is no better time to take good care of yourself than when you’re overwhelmed. This is not a time to skimp on sleep or hydration or nutrition. These are the things that are going to help you finish this semester strong.

Cooking for the week ahead on Sunday is a good way to save yourself time throughout the week without sacrificing healthful meals between classes, prepping for finals, grading, or putting the final touches on projects.

Some of our staff members at Chalkup recommend the Buzzfeed Food newsletter. It’s a bi-weekly offering of recipes (apparently our marketing director swears by it). It won’t clog your inbox and you’ll find lots of budget recipes and ideas for new cooks. Plenty of options for cooking, packaging, and storing meals you can eat throughout a crazy finals week.

Clean Your Workspace/Backpack/Desktop/Thumb Drive

In the spirit of focusing on little wins, clean your desk. Clean out your backpack. Organize your notes or your hard drive. Clean up your thumb drive or Google Drive space dedicated to your coursework. It will make you feel better. It’s productive. It will give you a blank slate on which to begin your final push of the semester.

Just Say No to All-Nighters

This one speaks for itself.

Quick Fixes for the Afternoon Slump

If you came here looking for a quick way to energize yourself during marathon paper grading sessions, slow afternoons, or tough lesson prep say no more. Here are a few favorites. You can find some similar suggestions in our recent post about back-to-school stress busters.

●      Exercise breaks. Even a walk around the block will get blood flowing and increase your focus when you get back.

●      A simple glass of ice water does wonders. Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to increased stress. So drink up.

●      Or how about a snack? Try some of these power snacks for studying.

●      Find your second wind by game-planning your evening. Revisit your to-do list. Block out your hours. Schedule time for a good meal. Triage what you can. Just making a plan can get you energized and ready to take it all on.

●      Never forget the value of a mood-boosting playlist.

Chalkup is a next-generation learning management system that keeps classes connected, organized, and equipped to learn more. They integrate seamlessly with Google Drive and provide teachers with a mean rubric workflow. Read more on their blog.