It’s May Day, and the last day of classes before finals. Depending on how you look at it, this May Day could be one of several things:
– Mayday as a distress call. Wikipedia defines it this way: “Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French venez m’aider, meaning ‘come help me’“. (That’s your fun fact of the day!)
– May Day as a celebration. Also from Wikipedia, there are many references to how different countries celebrate. In Europe, May Day takes various forms, often involving celebrating spring with flowers, dancing (around the May Pole), and general revelry.
Which will it be for your students: distress call? party? maybe neither?
As your students get ready to end classes and begin studying finals, dust off some of the advice you gave them when they were younger kids and struggling to memorize multiplication tables or struggling to hit a baseball or learn to drive a car:
Do your best, and let it rest. As long as your student is giving finals everything he or she has got, that’s all one can do. One of the hardest lessons students learn here is that sometimes you can do your very best and give it your all and you still get a C. It is the rare person who can master everything with perfect grades. Help your students unburden themselves of that pressure.
Don’t burn the candle at both ends. Your student will be more effective if he/she gets enough sleep. Don’t push too hard.
Finally, and in my mind most important of all, remind your student that you love him/her no matter what. At times of high stress, sometimes that absolution and affirmation from parents and family members is the best medicine.