School’s out for summer? Perhaps not. After an academic year like no other, summer school is more important than ever, and educators are looking to optimize it for students who may have struggled during the unique challenges of the past academic year. In some cases, schools are even proactively inviting students to attend summer programs, or considering making summer school mandatory, which further raises the stakes. So how can you make your students’ summer school experience the best it can be? Here are some tips:
Get to Know Your Students
Even in the extraordinary summer of 2021, with more summer school students than ever, summer school will feel to students like the exception rather than the rule. Depending on your school’s policies, the likelihood is they all have specific reasons for being there, rather than the “default” of autumn and winter. That’s why it’s important to get to know your students and their individual needs and goals for their summer school experience. Whether it’s catching up on subjects they fell behind on during the past academic year, working on test prep and college application skills, or trying to get ahead in anticipation of the coming year, each student will have come to summer school with something they hope to achieve. Moreover, being aware of your student’s personalities and lives outside the classroom will help ensure that you can better guide them to success in a way that suits them.
Make Summer School Fun
Just because your students are in school doesn’t mean they don’t want to enjoy their summer! Summer school programs should utilize techniques to make learning fun and better keep students engaged. Using games to review and reinforce concepts is a great bet both for education and engagement. Competitions within the class, with students trying to beat their personal “bests” and perhaps earn prizes, are also a great motivational tool and a way to break up what can feel like a long road of academic catching up in the summer school curriculum. Remember, if your students are having a good time while they learn, that creates a positive feedback loop to learn even more!
Focus on Specific Needs
As mentioned above, students are coming into summer school with particular goals and needs. To make the most of your limited time with your students, be sure to target these goals and remain focused. You don’t have a full academic year with them, only a summer, so every minute counts. If that means structuring your lessons around a particular topic your students need catching up on, or altering homework assignments to reflect the skills your students are hoping to develop, it’s good to build in the flexibility to make that possible. If your students could use even more individual attention, you might steer them in the direction of one-on-one tutoring, like A-List offers. Just remember, with a fun and flexible outlook, and a focus on meeting your students’ needs, summer school will be looking sunny for everyone!
For more information about our summer programs to enhance and complement your summer school plans, contact us today!