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Classroom Management: Fall Semester vs. Spring Semester [GIFs]

Does this scenario sound familiar?

A major and unexplainable shift occurs between the fall and spring semesters. Your students reenter the classroom wholly changed, some of them transformed from rosy-cheeked cherubs to possessed gremlins. This mutation happens in such a sudden and profound way that you have to re-strategize your classroom management.

You’re not imagining it. Really, this is some serious Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde level stuff. In fact, the following situations might feel eerily accurate.

On the first day of school…

If there’s one advantage to this teaching life, it’s that you never have the same experience twice. With a new gaggle of kids popping into your classroom, every new year gives you a fresh start with a new world of opportunities and possibilities. Let’s all get ready to change some lives.

On the return from winter break…

They’re back, but the vacation from school has changed them. These kids used to be little angels, didn’t they? Did some cosmic interference occur, and now you’ve entered a bizzarro world? Where your classroom management happened without incident last semester, now your call-and-responses fall upon deaf ears.

Greeting students in the morning in August…

Ah, those growing minds ready to soak up all that beautiful knowledge. It’s always a blessing to say hello to our world’s future leaders.

Greeting students in the morning in January…

They have returned. They are hungry. They are ready to feed. They will feast upon your sanity. Run!

Advising committees and social clubs the first semester…

In the fall, you’re gung-ho to help kids cultivate their interests outside the traditional classroom setting. You’re more than aware of how these extracurricular activities build character and help kids prepare for their higher education. You’re darn glad to lend a volunteer hand, even if that means you get less time for yourself.

Advising committees and social clubs the second semester…

There is so much good television to watch. The couch only gets more comfortable the longer you stay away from its warm and loving embrace. You suddenly blame the fall semester version of yourself for having to stay past contract hours.

Planning in the fall semester…

There’s nothing like big, hairy, audacious goals to inject some optimism into the school year. You’re looking toward the state goals, but you also want the kiddos to learn in a way that’s uniquely impactful to them. Planning is time consuming, sure. But it’s oh-so worth it.

Planning in the spring semester…

Well, now you have to complete all those lofty objectives. And these kids aren’t the same ones you knew a few weeks ago.

Student relationships in September…

There’s nothing quite like good, quality SEL happening in your classroom. Your students are communicating, cooperating, taking feedback, and making kind choices. Even if there’s interpersonal conflict, things work out. In terms of citizenship, empathy, and human connection, everything is A-OK.

Student relationships in February…

Wait, this used to be a classroom. Now you teach on the set of a soap opera.

Going over the classroom rules the first time…

This set of standards for how we treat other students and show respect to our school will set the foundation for a year filled with knowledge and growth. Everyone works together to create the healthiest, most productive environment imaginable.

Going over the classroom rules the ten thousandth time…

The concept of keeping one’s hands to oneself is now a foreign concept. One student has re-created the Mona Lisa under her desk using bubble gum. Have you ever seen that movie Children of the Corn?

Teaching the state curriculum…

Hey, maybe you don’t agree with all of their arbitrary standards, but there needs to be some measure of progress. Right?

Reviewing for the state tests…

These godforsaken exams are a fungus on the foot of public education.

Leaving for winter break…

You’re set to recharge and return with a renewed sense of optimism for the second half of the academic year.

Leaving for summer break…

You’d leave a teacher-shaped hole in the wall, if only you weren’t so exhausted.

Classroom Management to Improve Your Teaching in Both Semesters

Yeah, there’s a kernel of truth in here. But we’re mostly kidding. After all, both semesters come with inherent challenges. The only consistent thing is the unpredictability. We’re here to help with classroom management professional development that helps you run the joint without a hitch.

  • The Growth Mindset: Fostering Resilience and a Love of Learning: Mindset is a buzzword in today’s educational landscape, but it often addresses only students’ mindsets, not educators’. Explore your internalized beliefs about learning and your students’ abilities, and learn how to structure your classroom around a culture of perseverance and opportunity.
  • Cultivating Student-Centered Classrooms: In student-centered instruction, the responsibility of designing and executing learning activities shifts from teachers to students. Learn to implement active learning strategies, self-paced and cooperative learning, and open-ended tasks to promote self-reliance skills, deeper understanding, greater retention, and increased motivation.
  • Strategies for Addressing Student Anxiety: One in five students currently struggles with anxiety issues, affecting their ability to learn and disrupting health and sleep. Learn to recognize anxiety and develop classroom strategies to support students who suffer from it.
  • Let’s Play! Creating a Playful Classroom: Embark on a hands-on, experience-oriented journey designed to help you reframe your concept of play. Teachers of all grade levels will learn the power of play in education and how to create playful instructional experiences for your unique classroom community.

Advancement Courses offers more than 280 online, self-paced PD courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends in K–12 education. Courses are available for both graduate and continuing education credit for your salary advancement or recertification needs.

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