It’s the day before school starts. Your classroom is ready. You are ripe with wisdom and inspiration from the many inservice meetings you attended. You have visions of your students’ excitement and enthusiasm for learning. This year you will be present, energetic, infinitely patient, and wise beyond your years!
Fast forward to mid-terms. Your classroom is a mess, the kids are a little too comfortable in your class, and there is not enough coffee in this world to get you from your conference period all the way to end of rehearsal. What to do?
Here are some tips we like to use to keep things fun and interesting, reconnect with your students, and beat those mid-semester doldrums!
1. Change your warm-up routine.
That fabulous activity you have the kids do every time they enter the classroom might be getting on your nerves by this point. Change it up! Give them a new set of vocal warm-ups, a new puzzle to solve, or improvisation exercise to do. It will break up the monotony and be more effective in engaging the children.
2. Rearrange your classroom.
Nothing freshens up a space quickly like moving furniture around! Switch up that floor plan and create a new zen! Add some new decorations or educational resources to make the learning space more fun and appealing!
3. Attach “googly eyes” to things.
Because even a stapler can be a puppet if you believe.
4. Interrupt your class with a yoga/stretching break.
Put the lesson aside for a moment and move those muscles! Just a few moments of deep breathing and stretching can increase focus and oxygen to the brain.
5. Try this hilarious improvisation game.
Have the audience choose an item or a classroom-appropriate topic (the more inane, the better). The actor will then have to go on a full, ranting tirade about this item! Then sit back and listen as they give their best “just saying,” #sorrynotsorry diatribe about socks and how they are a scourge on our society!
6. Organize a messy space.
Costume storage, desk, car, file cabinet. It doesn’t matter. Choose a cluttered area that you see every day and organize it. You will feel proud and accomplished and have a more efficient space!
7. Teach in a costume.
You have all those great costumes just sitting there, go ahead and teach the parts of the stage as a 1920’s flapper girl! It will entertain the students and give you something fun to do!
8. Classroom scavenger hunt.
Hide ten paintbrushes around the room and give a prize to the first student to find them all during class!
9. Post-It Note wall.
Give a prompt such as, “What theatre is to me…” and let the students post their responses. Inspiration galore!
10. Schedule a Happy Hour with friends.
Take a break to enjoy friends and talk about things that are not job-related! Have some chips and salsa, maybe a beverage, and unwind! You deserve it!
Did we miss something? What do you to stay fresh in the middle of the semester? Leave a comment below!
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