Happy New Year...Welcome Back to 2015

So...you have been away from teaching for about 10-12 days. You hopefully felt relaxed and were able to catch up on some well-deserved sleep and rest. I know that is probably a little idealistic, but it sounded positive! Well, in reality you are just NOW able to relax and catch up on sleep and tomorrow is New Year's Eve!

In a few more days, for most of you, it is back to schedules, lesson planning, testing, interventions, parent communication, listening, counseling and of course sugared up worn out kiddos!  You walk into the classroom and on Day 1, the students seem tired but okay.... You feel exhausted.  it is the first day that you and the children have not slept late and actually let's face they as well as you are in a sugar coma from all the cookies, candies, gingerbread houses, lollipops, staying up late and doing whatever they and you wanted to do for the past week and a half.

Day 2 comes and if the truth be told, you wonder what you even taught, what you planned for the week, why you are here and your desk is filled with empty coffee mugs that you did not have a chance to throw out or wash due to sleep deprivation for past 2 days and worst of all, your kiddos have seemed to forget everything and anything you taught!  Rules, how to spell, classroom procedures have seemed to gracefully float out the window on the clouds.

Never fear here are some things to remember when you get back into the classroom after the New Year!
  • Give your students a soft landing: time to chat with friends and share their Winter Break experiences.
  • Don't assume that your students remember the procedures and as you transition into each stage of your day, take a few minutes to review your expectations for everything and anything!
  • Work slowly the first week and give many Brain Breaks or choose some activities that are knesthetic. 
  • Choose some fun activities to start your week. Perhaps a New Years Booklet for children to reflect on memories of 2014 and goals for 2015 would be a great way to start the week.
  • It may even be necessary to add an extra recess and play some group games to develop cooperative play (playing on video games all day is not promoting sportsmanship!)
  • Give yourself a well deserved soft landing by simplifying your plans.  One week will not make or break the curriculum!
  • Remember to do your best and your best depends on the day, how you feel and what's happening in your class with YOUR students.
  • Don't compare your class to your colleagues' class!
  • And....check out all the products on Teachers pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook.  We have done all the work to save you time so you, hopefully, were able to enjoy your holiday or land softly into your first week back!