The last three weeks of the calendar year are always a wonderfully chaotic time. There is so much to do in both our professional and personal lives. It’s the perfect time of year to reflect and be thankful for the great things in our lives.
However, with all the engagements of the season come distractions for you, your colleagues, and of course, your students. Like you, they are very aware of the coming holiday vacation; only while you remain professional, they like to start the party early and seek an excuse to stop working and start celebrating!
It’s crucial to know the terrain ahead and plan accordingly. Even with the added distractions, holiday planning can even be fun for you the teacher as you remember to keep your students on track with some festive flair.
How do you make sure you’re still accomplishing your goals and guiding your students along the benchmarks of the curriculum?
Here are some helpful holiday tips to keep your students engaged and on task as the holiday vacation approaches.
Keep Doing What Needs to Be Done
Until now you have been following your calendar and keeping up with your lesson plans. Trust in the work you’ve laid out for yourself. Continue with weekly quizzes, journals, or reports. There will be plenty of outside distractions from your students, and even the school, that will tempt you to deviate from the plan, but stay strong. Every school day is as valuable as the others.
Every School Day Counts
There are certain points during the school year in which students’ attention will wander. This is definitely one of the most susceptible times. Plan your lessons for this time of year with all the tricks you know to keep them engaged. Make sure your students are held accountable and actively involved in daily lessons.
Embrace the Festive Distractions
Don’t be a Grinch! The holiday season offers plenty of fresh ways to engage your students. It can be as simple as adding snowflakes or snowmen to their assignments. Use the distractions of the season to your advantage and keep your students on task with them. Rewards? Holidays are always a great excuse for a treat. The treat can be a special assignment like creating a decoration, making class New Year’s resolution lists, or even a holiday themed assignment pertinent to the lesson of the day.
Don’t Let the Temptations of the Holidays Disrupt Your Self-Care
This may not seem as obvious, but how you feel during this time of the year will affect your students. If you let your exercise routine slip, as it’s much colder out now, it will change your mood and energy level – and you know there will be plenty of edible distractions in the form of cookies and cakes for teachers around the school. Stay focused on your health and your own working expectations and you will have an advantage in the classroom.
And don’t worry, once school is out for holiday vacation, the cookies will be there waiting!
Let us know the ways you adjust your planning to maximize productivity during the most festive time of year.