The end of the year is sort of a mixed time for many students. There are happy things that cause excitement and there are things that may cause anxiety or disruptive behaviors.
Hopefully, you have stashed away a consistent behavior expectation all year and you can remind the students you work with what you expect as the excitement runs through in waves in the final days of school.
Even if you haven’t there are days you may feel you’re just going to be the iron fortress of discipline. Infractions are caught and handled regularly just as they had any other time during the year. There is more exasperation though because no matter what, the student has heard the rules all year long.
There is, however, middle ground. Strive for accepting that there are unusual schedules that excite students and frighten others. Strive for remembering that the rules of the day are still needed to be enforced, but there are limits to enforcement.
- Recognize your own day long rhythms. Are you cranky closer to lunch because you haven’t taken a fifteen-minute break? Do you get sleepy after lunch? Students being a little rambunctious at this point usually cause most to be irritable and you’re responding to the situation.
- Dress code taking up most of your attention? By itself: dress code is a loaded gun, we’ll talk about all of dress code later. But if you feel like you are the only person enforcing, take a step back for a moment. You may just be. And yes, rules are rules, but the end of the day, the dress code enforcement may not be the challenge to push back on. In most cases, by this point in the year, most students who are violating school dress code are probably doing so regularly and the administration is addressing it.
- The student who are afraid of schedule changes, make sure you have a visual schedule for all days during the week, to lessen the challenges that are related to uncertainty. Having an out of a favorite activity for a break is usually key.
- For students who are afraid of schedule changes that cannot pull off a visual schedule or who refuse a visual schedule, explain the upcoming event. If you can anticipate loud noises, other student excitements, or what may happen at the special event, this is a good way to prepare the student for what may come.
No one wants to be the ultimate disciplinarian especially at the end of the year. Tempering the challenges with the demands of the day-to-day work helps the most. There are many things that are utterly fun for students and there are some things that are some of the focus of the end of the year. It can seem like an endless line of
ParaEducate ends on May 25th for the 2017 academic year. Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.