Did you feel it this weekend? The weather was a little warmer, sun was shining, birds were chirping. Did you feel the desire to skip house cleaning, laundry, or grading? The feeling is real and as Spring nears, it will become stronger, not just for teachers, but for students as well. I felt it this morning too – mild temperatures and a sunny morning bring a new vitality – and the recipient of that vitality is not always directed to school/work. We have to work collectively to help students (and maybe ourselves?) remain focused.
One thing we have in our favor is the arrival of a full week of school – finally! As we approach Spring Break, we’ll have a few full weeks to re-establish expectations and routines and keep students focused in Quarter 3. These weeks can also be the beginning of the slide for many seniors, a dangerous game of changing and eliminating habits in the name of college acceptances. For many seniors this is a most critical time as they need to remain focused on earning passing grades to see the graduation stage. Let’s do our best in these next few weeks to keep all students, especially seniors, engaged and productive in the learning process. For some tips on preventing the senior slide, and really helping all students stay focused, check out this article from the National Association for College Acceptance Counseling (NACAC):
Tips for Avoiding Senioritis
“The habits one forms early in life are often carried over into later stages of life, be it college or the professional world,” says the dean. “Motivation and hard work will always win out over basic intelligence.”
Regardless of the consequences, it is still tempting to let school work slide. After all, seniors are busy people. To help you fight that temptation, read on for some ways to avoid senioritis.
Plan ahead. You probably already know what activities you’ll stay involved in this year. And you know that college applications are coming up fast. Plus, you want to make the most of your time with friends and family. Fitting all of it in without pulling your hair out (or pulling your grades down) is the goal. The best tool is a calendar or day planner. Write down all of your deadlines, for applications, papers, tests and so on. Then note your other activities, your sports schedule, drama or band rehearsals, SAT or ACT day, or college visits.
Don’t obsess. It’s easy to get caught up in the college admission process and forget about the here and now.
Talk about it. Senior year can be sad and exhilarating at the same time. You and your friends catalog all the “lasts”—the last first day of school, the last football game, the last prom. But you’re also looking forward to graduating and starting college.
“Remember in The Wizard of Oz when Scarecrow said ‘part of me is over there and part of me is over here’?” says a representative from Westmont College (CA). “That’s how seniors feel.”
Have fun. “I always encourage seniors to celebrate their senior year,” says the representative from Westmont. “They have worked a long time to get to this point and should do all they can to enjoy it.”