I have been on social media this past week looking at hilarious teacher memes highlighting the exhausting plight of teachers everywhere as they head into the last week of school before the Christmas break. The memes, though humorous, are all too real.
It’s December 14th, so why can’t we just call it a week and dance into the New Year?
As a teacher you are tired and so are your students. Class disruptions and misbehavior tend to worsen before a break. In the case of Christmas break, the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” has never rang more true. You need a break and so do the kids.
Here are a few tips help:
1. Keep lesson plans structured and engaging.
This is not time to go to the copy room and xerox a packet for the next week, plop it on the kids desks and sit at your desk. Keep it simple, relevant and student-centered.
For example, in math, create review stations (can be handouts) and have each station be a day of Christmas from The Twelve Days of Christmas. Mon- Days 1-4, Tuesday-Days 5-8 Wednesday-Days 8-12. If student groups successfully complete the review, they can have a reward on Friday!
In ELA- Create an escape room for Santa’s elves to be released from the Grinch’s grasp! Students must successfully complete grammar practice or vocabulary to advance to the next level!
In History- Have students research various Christmas/holiday customs around the world as well as New Year’s. Have groups fill out an outline then present their findings to the class on Wednesday.
As with any idea, cater to your students’ needs and grade level!
Keep it simple and fun.
2. Your school may already have Christmas activities planned!
You ALREADY probably have this figured out. If you are in elementary, you are probably already helping direct a Winter program etc. Make sure you take this into consideration when writing lesson plans! Middle schools and High Schools may have programs as well in addition to midterms (many schools now have midterms/semester close in mid January).
3. Your attitude may be waning as well.
Yes. YOU. Hang in there. Vent to a trusted coworker after school (never do it in front of the kids) to keep your sanity. Do not “go off” on the kids all week. Keep your eye on the goal and your attitude straight. Don’t fall into community negativity. This too shall pass.
4. Do one thing for yourself during the break.
Get a massage, nails done or even a new hairdo to help start your New Year off right!
5. Do not wait until January 2 or whenever your school reopens to start planning for the New Year.
Start making a list THIS week of what needs to be done upon your return. Have your lesson plans ready and copies made. I never liked to come back to chaos. Also, straighten the room and allow the kids to help you pack up Christmas decorations if time permits at the end of the week. You want to start 2019 off right!
You CAN survive this week. I have and many before you have. Fun, structured and engaging lessons help curb misbehavior and you just may have fun in the process as well!
Stay In The Light–
What some other things YOU do to not only survive this week but are preparing for the New Year?! Comment below!