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CSD Teachers, Principals Find Ways to Address ‘Senioritis’

With Canyons District high school commencements on the not-so-distant horizon, many soon-to-be-graduates are suffering from a condition called “senioritis.”

If you have a teenage student who is just weeks away from wrapping up his or her final year in high school, you know what we’re talking about: It can be a monumental task to get them to do homework, study for tests, and be on time for classes. When temperatures turn warm, and plans are being made for senior proms and trips, it can be become challenging for even the best students to keep their minds focused on finishing the year strong.

So how can we work together to find a cure for those ailing with senioritis?  

Brighton High’s Aaron Hadfield, who has been teaching for 16 years and has many seniors in his social studies classes, says teachers have learned a lot of tricks to keep seniors’ attention, especially if the students already have been accepted to college. 

The aim, Hadfield, says, is to make learning fun and get “buy-in” on the activities in the classes. For example, the last few weeks of Hadfield’s class are like a giant game of Risk.  Students are required to  “run” governments and become heads of states and develop strategies for running militaries.  See this KSL-TV story about Hadfield’s classroom government simulation.

“I’m fortunate because word has spread in our community about this activity, and kids look forward to it at the end of every year,” he said. “So it’s often the big thing that keeps the students involved in learning up until the day they walk across the graduation stage.”

Parents can help tremendously. Hadfield, who appeared on KUTV Channel 2 on Monday to discuss this topic, encourages moms and dads to spend some time every day encouraging high school students to finish strong. 

“Parents can help their students by making sure that they plan for academic time. If (students) have a full plate, it’s easy to bump academics to the side,” he told 2News anchor Ron Bird. Parents also can provide incentives for their children to keep up their grades and attendance the last few weeks of school. 

For more on how help students remain dedicated to their studies in the final weeks of school, see these links to stories from NBC News, U.S. News and World Report and the New York Times. 

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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