3rd Quarter Slump / by Krista Boivie

There is an phenomenon I have witnessed year-after-year as a teacher and that is the 3rd quarter slump.  My students grades generally drop radically, the number of students failing rises by usually more than 100% and there is usually a feeling of apathy from everyone (teachers, students and admin).

Friday will mark the end of the 3rd quarter and this phenomenon has definitely struck again.  As I am in the final stages of entering the last quarter grades I am horrified and dismayed by the low scores.  I shouldn't be surprised that I find my students in the same position every year.

Normally, I feel my own personal slump in the 2nd quarter, however, this year I am feeling it during the 3rd quarter.  I am frustrated, exhausted and trying desperately not to take my bad mood out on any of the students.  It has been magnified over the last couple of weeks of other (non-school) related challenges that have cropped up.

When I get to feeling this way I often withdraw from people as I fight my frustrations, but I have decided that isolation will not help me get out of the funk. In an attempt to get over this psychological hurdle I have decided to impliment two strategies:

  1. Do something different. I was reading an article recently that described ways to tap into your inner creativity and it suggested to implement a new walking style.  The simple act of forcing yourself to do something different will trigger the creative centers in your brain. I like this suggestion and so I will be walking differently for the rest of the week--I will pick up the pace and give it a little more attitude.
  2. Finish one project. My hurdles are created by too many projects and so to feel like I am making progress I need to just get one thing done.  I am working on finishing an entry for my National Board Teaching Certification.  I video tapped my class this week and this weekend I plan on writing my entry. This isn't a tiny project, but it has been lingering in the back of my mind for months.  It is not due until mid-April, but getting it finish early will allow me to be more productive in other areas.

What do you do when you find yourself in a slump? I always love suggestions and tips!