First…Happy New Year!! I hope this will be your best year yet. 2019 is here!
Now, back to teacher reality. During holiday breaks, some teachers tend to significantly overwhelm themselves in preparation to go back to school. On the other hand, other teachers have the most well-meaning intentions to plan the best semester EVER upon their return– but end up distracted by life itself–thus the tote bag stays in the trunk.
Here is a list of what to DO and what NOT DO to make the most of these wonderful, well-deserved, holiday breaks!
- Start planning every facet of your educational life between now and January 7th.
Don’t do it. Why? Everything is subject to change the moment you step back on campus or start the New Year. One thing I have had to personally learn is to not stress over constantly trying to figure everything out which is due to me being somewhat of a strategist BUT– I am so proud of my growth in this area!
Like life itself, in education there is a balance…with students…there will be times you will have no choice but to fly off the seat of your pants, however, CONSISTENTLY, you always need to have a plan in place.
2. Panic while researching every teacher idea known to mankind.
I cannot stress the adorable ideas out there from classrooms, lesson plans, activities and more! I always love to see the creativity and ideas other teachers share. It inspires me to be the best teacher I can be!
However, hear me out. Understand–their classroom and their experience is not your experience. Don’t let it make you feel inadequate. You do what is needed for your kids. When you peruse social media platforms, apps and websites for various ideas, set a timer and be specific about what you are looking for. Bookmark the ideas and activities you like, please follow the people you admire but remember, no teacher is a perfect teacher even if it looks that way.
People don’t ( and should never) post fights in the hall, a student returning from alternative school…and not happy about it, the team meeting that did not go well, the data packet the principal needs to have done in 2 days, the student who vomited all over the floor and wall, the parent who cussed out the exhausted assistant principal and is upset with the entire grade level team, the week’s lesson that tanked, the student who just got back from a mental hospital, the pressure because your educational entity said the school’s scores are not up to par, the once sweet class has had an attitude for the past 2 weeks and you don’t know why…you get it. Honey…it’s real in education.
Experience tells us this. I am not a perfect teacher. Those with experience continually learn. I am already thinking of a number of workshops I want to go to inspire me and help put more tools in my toolbox!
You can’t give anything out of an empty wheel barrow. I hope you are making room for fun, movies, catching up with loved ones and dear friends and even a little after Christmas sale shopping. For the “exquisite,” (ha,ha) maybe even a little massage or facial. Don’t just do this during a holiday break but whenever you get the chance!
Teachers are prone to germs, colds etc. not just from being around so many people but due to extreme stress. You are an adult. Take care of yourself. There is only one you. If you really believe kids are that important, take care of yourself. They need you.
2. Plan and Pace Yourself
What you plan to do with your holiday break is up to you. If you, like me, will still try to catch up on planning, work etc., read below!
Pace Yourself: Commit to 4 hours later this week.
9 am or 1pm–
Reflect–what went well and not so well? How do you want to approach it?
10 am or 2 pm–Work on lessons (jump ahead) or fine tune activities. How will you welcome the kids back? This is vital especially the first day back. See my blog post https://theeducatorslight.com/2018/11/28/4-ways-to-welcome-your-students-back-from-a-holiday-break/.
This blog post has great ideas for welcoming kids back the effective way! This is a NEW beginning for you and your students…especially after Christmas/New Year’s break.
11 am or 3 pm–
Research activities, ideas, etc. Remember what I mentioned earlier in this post. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get inspired, and learn from some great teachers.
12 pm or 4 pm–
Continue wrapping up from any category (grading if you need too). For more simple, step by step information, download my ebook Plan Your First Year available in the resource store for only $7.00! This ebook will help you spend those 4 hours planning wisely and it helps you get on the journey to become the best teacher you can be. Also enjoy the other free resources as well.
Do’s and Don’ts are simply clear boundaries that you need to set for yourself to increase your longevity as a teacher. This is critical.
Happy New Year 2019 and know I am rooting for you all the way!
Stay in the Light–
What are other boundaries you are setting for yourself in the New Year for your classroom or teaching environment? Comment below!