The Perks of Procrastinating

Beyond Teaching, Instruction

I am constantly telling my students not to procrastinate. Plan ahead, I tell them. Do your work early, I preach.

But truth is, when I procrastinate, I tend to do my best work.  Anyone else?

For example, I tried to plan for the last eight weeks of school before Spring Break, but I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I had a lot of “big ideas”, but I couldn’t narrow them down to specific tasks, activities, assessments, etc. On and on this went, until Monday.  I don’t have English until 6th period, so I had all day to get my plans together.


Recent Procrastination Win: Connotation Activities

I wanted to start our poetry study with some connotation activities because my kids needed the review AND connotation can be fun. I started by asking them if they’d rather be called “youthful” or “childish”. We had a great time discussing which one and why. Then I had them write the word “Hollywood” in their notebook and write anything and everything they associated with the word and discuss with their tablemates.  We then added their notes to the whiteboard (There were some doozies!). Next, I had them fill in the sentence “The ____ of her perfume lingered long after she left the room”, then they had to choose a positive, neutral, and negative word to replace the blank. I loved walking around and listening to the conversations they had about all of these activities.

As we discussed the sentence and talked about which words work and which words don’t, one student exclaimed: “that’s cool!” I about fell out laughing. I threw a fist into the air and said “YESSSS”!

Finally, I gave my kids lists of six words on colored paper. They had to rank the work from most to least positive on their own, then get with other students who had the same list and come to a consensus. These discussions were really interesting! After looking up the dictionary definitions, they had more great conversation about how that changed their ideas about some of their choices.

These activities were all curated from a little search of the internet, and it went SO well! AND it sparked some ideas for poetry study for the rest of the semester.

Yay for Procrastination!

My point is, sometimes procrastination works.  Of course, I’m a big planner so I never completely leave things to the last minute, but the details are definitely better left to the last minute for me.

How about you? Are you a procrastinator too?


Day 3 of 7 days of blogging in the books!  Thanks to an email from Gerard Dawson (who was inspired by Seth Godin), I was inspired to post every day for a week. Hopefully, this will get me out of my slump and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a golden nugget of wisdom to share this week.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Christopher Miller
    April 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    My best work is always after procrastination. Lessons, even papers for grad school classes are infinitely better when done at the last minute. I think It’s about giving the brain time to processes before doing it.

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