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08 November 2012

Battling Late-semester Instructional Fatigue

This week marks the end of the third quarter of the semester on our campus. Every semester at about this time, I start to feel fatigued in the classroom. The daily grind has taken its toll, and any charismatic pull I might have had with my classes has begun to give way to more routinized patterns of behavior.  Additionally, attendance rates typically dip. One strategy that I've worked into my courses, particularly lower-level classes, to overcome the inevitable creep of malaise is to ramp up my use of non-traditional instructional techniques, which for me means less lecture and class-wide discussion and more media and small-group discussion. Even this, though, will only get one so far in re-energizing a group of students. Because of this, I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas. Anyone out there with suggestions?


  1. I don't have any ideas, but this is timely since I yelled at my students today (about both coming to class late AND not proofreading their papers in my 400-level course) and next week I'm showing a movie! Maybe that will help me recuperate.

  2. I suffer from this as well. I go more for A/V material as well, but as you say, absences go way up, and I think that the semesters are just too long. Thanksgiving falls really awkwardly when we start so soon in August. I really wish they'd shorten the semester a week and start later.