If you’re having a hard time getting back in the spirit to teach, you’re not alone. It’s difficult for anyone to head back to work following the holiday season, especially teachers. Not only do you have to work, you have to muster the enthusiasm to get your students back in the spirit to learn. This is a huge challenge, and we’re here to give you some advice.
- Don’t assume your students remember everything you taught before winter break. It would be nice if all your students came back, ready to learn, with all that information fresh and ready to be built on. That’s simply not how it works. Your students just spent weeks enjoying the holidays, so they may be a little rusty. Start off slow to ease them, and yourself, back in. it’s also a good time to remind students of classroom procedures. It may be tempting to jump back in with a lot of new material, but reviewing old material first will help it stick so your students can fully absorb the new material.
- Allow students to express what made their winter break fun. This allows the magic of winter break to linger a little into the start of the rest of the school year. This makes a great journaling activity. You can even write your own entry to share with students. This way students get to share something about their break, and you get to share in those memories with them.
- Acknowledge to your students that it can be hard to come back after winter break. Share with them that it is difficult for you too. Then use the opportunity to explain how important rest and relaxation is to the brain, so that the brain can work hard later. Students will appreciate you being honest with them. This doesn’t mean you should relax your rules and procedures, it is simply meant to show your students that you understand.
- Get organized. It will be easier to get through the rest of the school year if you take a little time to get organized. This includes many aspects of your classroom. Get your desk and file system set up. Pass out paper and folders to students so they’re stocked up. All of this will save you time later, and it will feel good to get it accomplished.
- Set goals for yourself for the rest of the school year. It’s easier to keep moving forward when you know what you want to accomplish. These goals can be big or small, whatever you want! Write them down and keep them somewhere specific. Make an action plan to figure out how to accomplish these goals.
Coming back after winter break can be tough, but these tips are sure to help you out!