The Urban Dictionary defines senioritis as “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.” Sound familiar to you? You most likely can relate to this feeling among seniors nationwide.
Senioritis can cause grades to slip and attendance to be nonexistent. Here are ways teachers can support students during their final year.
Goal setting helps enable new behaviors and motivation in your day-to-day life. Have students create long-term and short-term goals they can refer to throughout the school year. Their short-term goals will motivate them to attend classes and keep turning in work whereas their long-term goals will remind them what they’re working towards every day.
Many seniors get in the mindset that senior year doesn’t matter since senior year grades aren’t included in the application process. Remind students that once accepted, colleges will most likely ask for senior-year grades.
Some goal-setting activities can include creating a vision board, making interest maps, and different writing prompts such as “If I could be doing anything with my life right now, what would I be doing?”
Make a Career Plan
With senior year comes anxiety and uncertainty about what the future holds. Some students may have the next steps planned out but a significant amount won’t have everything figured out. Dedicate time for students to identify possible career interests and the steps needed to get there.
Giving students a dedicated time to research deadlines, contact information, pre-requisites and finding applications, can help alleviate the stress that comes along with all of this.
With so many career options, students may feel lost and need help figuring out where to start. For students who may not know what they want to study or where they want to go to college, resources like College Scorecard compare colleges based on majors, admission rates, cost, etc. Some students may also find it beneficial to shadow someone who currently works in the field they are interested in.
As a teacher, you can help students manage stress by acting as a resource and guide throughout their senior year. You can also aid students by reminding them of the fun aspects of their senior year like prom, sporting events, and making memories with friends. It’s also important to remind students that there are more paths than a traditional college degree and to follow their interests.
Incorporate stress-relieving activities into classes such as taking a few minutes for meditation or mindfulness. Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Even a 20-minute walk can have positive effects inside and outside the classroom.
Student achievement relies on mentorship from teachers and family members. Have patience throughout the school year and give yourself credit for creating an atmosphere of success.
About Intervene K-12
Intervene K-12 supports student success from 3rd to 12th grade. If you have seniors who need support, learn how you can help all your students graduate through student-centered tutoring through Intervene K-12.