One of the most stressful times of the school year for most teachers is the holidays. Between the stresses of the classroom and then on top of that, stressors at home, many teachers find this time of the year overwhelming. You are not alone. We have all been there. Some of us are still wrestling.
1. Remember LESS is MORE!
Avoid the temptation to over plan around the holidays.
Tie some of your seasonal ideas to standards based content that you are teaching.
One meaningful item for parents from their children is sufficient. Sometimes, the company that does photography for the school will have some copies of the photos that have adhesive on the back. Use those to create a bookmark or frame. For the last couple of years, I’ve made a calendar for my parents. The kids just made pictures in each section. It made for some great morning work after Thanksgiving. When we had our yearly Holiday celebration, it looked great on the tables. We also made a placemat using non standard measurement. If you’d like to see how we did that, click HERE for that post. If you have kids that don’t celebrate the holidays, this list of alternatives was a big help for teachers on my team who needed ideas for the calendar that weren’t holiday themed. My calendar can be found HERE.
2. Build in time to review procedures.
The holidays are tough for some students and full of excitement for others. In the midst of that, teachers are stressed with end of the year activities and assignments–along with their own personal stuff. It’s hard for ALL of us! So, you need to give yourself grace and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Give yourself enough time in the day that before you leave for lunch, you can review the procedure for lining up. Before you transition to centers, you can remind students you’re looking for those who remember how YOUR class does this the BEST! Stay POSITIVE in your times of reflection. Remind your students that you know they’ve GOT this, and you’re counting on them to continue to be as amazing as they always are.
3. Go to bed earlier.
Make sure you’re getting enough rest in the run from Thanksgiving to the first of the year. Allow yourself the time to rest! Nothing good happens when the teacher is over-tired. Decisions are harder. Critiques seem harsher. Parent conferences are more ridiculous! 🙂 Try some white noise while you sleep to help you rest a bit better. Try NOT to read right before bed. It keeps your brain engaged and makes it harder to wind down mentally.
4. Eat breakfast.
Even if it is something small that you grab on the go. Don’t forget to eat breakfast. Particularly something that will help you power up for the day. Are you a gluten free person? I have some ideas for healthy snacks for you and your students during the day! Check out THIS blog post. Small meals during the day would be better than a heavy lunch. So, try having a snack while your students snack!
5. Drink lots of fluids.
Often times, we are pushing ourselves so hard through the holidays at school that the first day that we’re home on break our body gives in and we get sick ourselves. Make sure you’re taking your vitamin C and drinking lots of water. Flush whatever germs are at school out of your system so that you can enjoy a happy, healthy break with your loved ones!