March is upon us and Spring Break is right around the corner! While this is a welcome break for many, it can also bring about certain challenges for instructors.

Although the expectation is that students will be present in class the days leading up to Spring Break, this is often not the case. Some students will choose to start their break a few days early, and in anticipation of the break, the students who are physically present in class may not be at their full capacity to learn and retain information. Including an interactive activity instead of a typical lecture is a great way to modify your class plans while still achieving the course goals you established.

While some students may be headed to a tropical paradise, others stay on campus, work, or do community service projects over the break. Therefore, coming back from Spring Break can be difficult for faculty members and students alike. Don’t be afraid to connect with students upon their return. Something as simple as asking students about their break can show that you value them. Showing interest in your students increases the likelihood that they will in turn show interest in your course.

After Spring Break, there are only a little over five weeks left in the semester. In this time, it is important to motivate students to finish out the semester strong. Students will need to be intrinsically motivated to succeed, but you can still do a few things to encourage and motivate them. For example, providing a review of the material that has been covered thus far can help show students how much progress they have made. Additionally, it can be helpful to go over what topics will be covered in the coming weeks and remind students that the end of the semester is in sight.

Simple things such as inviting a guest speaker, showing the class videos, and letting students pick music to play before class can also encourage and motivate students to be engaged in your course. If you have any suggestions you would like to share, feel free to comment below! Have a great Spring Break!

Meredyth Ring

Meredyth is a second year graduate student in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology M.S. Program at UTC. She is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning.

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