The Top 8 Ways to Ruin Your Winter Break... and 1 Way to Win It!
This is it! Your countdown to Winter Break is in the single digits! Your students are restless; your principal insists that movies are not acceptable; you are scrambling to find meaningful activities that will hold the attention of your kids. In short, you. are. exhausted. You NEED a break! You are so looking forward to that first day of liberation! Here's a list of things you can do that will definitely RUIN your break!
8. Forget lesson plans for January.
This will leave you scrambling and wracking your vacation brain on the last day (or last few hours) trying to come up with something to do with your students the next morning. That's no way to end a nice relaxing break.
7. Leave your classroom as is.
You don't want to have to worry about cleaning and setting things up when you first walk back into your room. That's like having to wash all your dishes before you can cook dinner. Just makes more work.
6. Don't think about school or teaching for a second.
One of the hardest things about long breaks is the probability of the students forgetting everything they've learned. It's even worse when a teacher does too. Just take a minute, or five, and reflect on the year thus far. What worked? What didn't? Why?
5. Don't set goals for the rest of the year.
If you don't take time to reflect, you won't think about setting goals. And that's fine. But once you reflect over the past semester and think about what went over really well (that you definitely want to do again) and what needs work (like that one activity where even you were bored), you can set some goals. Consider setting a goal to try something new, tweak an assignment, or design a new assessment.
4. Spend an entire day (or days) working!
As if you don't work enough during school hours! Seriously. Take a break. Enjoy the respite. But if you must work over break, try to dedicate just an hour or two at a time, and use that time in the early morning, or after the kids are in bed. Don't take time away from your family to grade papers or write lesson plans.
3. Talk to students/parents about school.
If you're out and about, and you're spotted by one of your students, don't talk about school. If they come up to you and express surprise to see you, it's because they're still under the impression that teachers actually live in the school. Be cordial and kind. Ask them how their break is going and if they've done anything interesting. Definitely don't ask them if they've completed that assignment that's been missing for a month. It’s their break too!
2. Wake up early (unless necessary).
Rest is a very important part of any break. We know that you put in those extra hours to make sure you are prepared and ready to take on the next day (or, in some cases, just trying to keep your head above water). Get some well-deserved rest. Sleep in. Order breakfast-in-bed (if you have the necessary and willing participants). Ease yourself into the day. There's no hurry! You'll be back in routine soon enough.
1. Check your work email every day.
WIN Your Winter Break!
Respect and honor your time away from school.
Take care of yourself and be good to your mind, body and soul. Setting goals and boundaries during break will help you start fresh in the new year. Your students will see the difference, and you'll certainly feel it!