Teach Life Lessons
If your classes are 55 minutes as were mine when I taught, I suggest you use the last 5 minutes to teach Life Lessons. I know you are evaluated on state or national test score results, but our kids need more. (I often wonder what was Bernard Madoff's (he stole millions from his friends) test score or Marshall Applewhite’s ( Heaven’s Gate Suicide cult leader) test score.
I would like to suggest that you start with “HOW TO THINK”. This really needs to be a class itself. Let the 5 minute lesson be these three concepts
Never make the same mistake twice.
Never make the mistakes you see your family and friends make.
Don’t make the mistakes you see people in the news making.
Think about this. Anyone can make a mistake. We are all human. But if you keep making the same or similar mistakes, you just aren’t thinking. I heard someone say if you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, you are crazy.
If you have a child before you finish school. You made a mistake, now you have to work harder to be a success in life. If you have another child, you are making the same mistake, you are not thinking.
If you have a sister that has no job and no education with multiple children, you should avoid that mistake.
If you see on the news, where a sports star was robbed and beaten after leaving a club at 2:00 AM, then you should conclude “I am going to be at home in the bed at 2:00 AM. Now you are thinking. Avoid the mistakes of others.
In the HOW TO THINK series introduce these two concepts: WORST CASE SCENARIO and BEST CASE SCENARIO. Encourage your students to explore these concepts before making major decisions.
Introduce the concept of VISION. Define vision simply as “where do you see yourself five years from today”. Talk about it so that they will think about it. Explain to them that the worst of all statements is (in answer to where do you see yourself five years from today) “I don’t know, I don’t care, I’m not thinking about five years from today, I’m just trying to get through the day”
If you are “Just trying to get through the day” that is all you will ever accomplish.
If they don’t have a vision encourage them to get one before they leave your class ( your sphere of influence) Ask them every day, “what is your vision”.
Ask them “did you do anything today to get you closer to your vision?”
This will force them to think. Thinking is good. Learning to think is better than a passing test score. Many persons holding PhD degrees are working for people who don’t even have a College Degree.