January 13, 2017 | Leave a comment There are things you can do when you feel like you just can’t make it to the end of the year. If you feel like you can’t make it, I want to tell you a story about a teacher. I’ll call her Selia. After years of teaching Selia found her classroom management slipping. She realized that students were getting out of control and that she was losing her cool. She started to think, “I can’t make it.” Sure she was having problems, but she was determined to not go down without a fight. She wanted to regain her calm demeanor with kids and keep them managed. Here’s what she did that worked. First, Selia made sure that she was taking care of herself. She hadn’t exercised properly in years. So she started. She did it slowly and began taking walks. Sometimes during her conference period. She stopped eating sugary junk except once a week. (And then she found out that she rarely wanted it anymore). She started watching less TV. She said it made her more calm. She started only watching TV once or twice a week. Instead, she did more reading and listening to music. Selia wrote all this down in a journal so that she could keep track of her ideas. By looking over her journal, she was able to see exactly where she was making improvements and where she needed to do better. Here’s what she did to shape up her classroom management: First, she picked up some dusty old books she had on the topic. And just scanned it. She remembered a bunch of things she used to do. One of those was making positive phone calls to parents. Then, she did a Google search on classroom management and read a few articles. Next, she just sat down with a piece of paper and made a list of the things she needed to do to jump start her procedures. One of those was making sure that she was saying positive things to students who needed to hear it. Another was providing Brain Breaks every day, especially in the afternoon. And she turned it around. In three days, things were noticeably different. In a week, her classroom was like a different place. I think every teacher has felt like she was going bonkers at one time or another. Hey, I’m here to tell you, that you can make a huge difference quickly. I don’t know your exact school schedule, but you probably have half of your year left. Is it time for you to do something for you? Yes. Using Brain Breaks When You Feel Like You Can’t Make It A few years ago, I started to realize how powerful brain breaks were for my students. I noticed that when I used them, students would smile. I love to see them smile because that means there are good things happening in their brain and they are way more able to process what you are teaching them. So, I pulled together a list of 40 brain breaks. When you feel like maybe you can’t make it, just starting to use some of these can begin to turn things around quickly. Here’s a link to an instant download of the list of 40 – bit.ly/40brainbreaks. Try them out and I’d love to hear which ones are working the best for you.