“The students are so calm right before December break.”
Said no teacher, ever!

By now, you’re probably just as excited as your students are about winter break. The week before any holiday break can be stressful for teachers and students alike, with tests and projects that must be completed in spite of the excitement in the air. So what can you do to keep everyone focused on work while maintaining a vibe of holiday cheer? Start by following these five ideas to help you enjoy the holiday season at school.

  1. Stick to a routine. Assemblies, concerts, parties and such are an inevitable part of December — and they will disrupt your schedule. Think ahead by outlining changes, perhaps at the beginning of the day in a place that is visible to your students. Focus on your usual routine rather than the events that may disrupt each day. Students will follow your lead and appreciate the consistency.
  2. Maintain behavioral expectations. Holiday parties in school can be fun, but they can also be a time for students to take advantage. Explain to your class before any parties or festivities that participating is a privilege, not a requirement. Reaffirm your classroom rules and expectations before any celebrations.
  3. Move! Kids who are excited won’t want to sit still and pay attention all day long. So why not incorporate some movement or physical activity into your day? Whether it be to take a walk, go outside, or lead a group stretch, every little bit helps. Engage students in group assignments or projects that gets them moving around the room instead of sitting still at a desk. Once children are able to exert their energy, they’ll be more likely to participate and engage in class.
  4. Wind down and prepare for the New Year. Use the day before break to gracefully exit 2017 and prepare students for their return to school in January. Instead of scheduling a party or an messy holiday project on the last day, wind down with a class organization day. Have your students clean out their desks or lockers, and help you clean up the classroom. Another idea is to have your students write in their journals to reflect on 2017 and what they hope to accomplish in the New Year. You can reward all of their hard work by finishing the school day with a calm activity like a movie, game, story, or independent reading or drawing time. The students will appreciate the structure and be less apprehensive about coming back to school after break. And you’ll be psyched not to have to return to classroom filled with glitter and holiday decorations.
  5. Enjoy. Yes this time of year is hectic, but it can also be a lot of fun. Approach each day with a positive attitude and, yes, give yourself permission to enjoy the season. It’s back to business as usual in January, so revel in the spirit of the season and get excited about your upcoming break!

From all of us at PLS Classes, we hope you enjoy your time off and holiday fun — you deserve the time off!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comments will be held for approval and posted shortly! Thanks for your feedback!