The last few 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!
How do you make sure you’re still accomplishing your goals and guiding your students to stay on track in the curriculum?
Here are some helpful holiday tips to keep your students engaged and on task as the holiday vacation approaches.
Stick to the Plan
Up to now, you have been following your calendar and keeping up with your lesson plans. Trust in the work you’ve laid out for yourself. If you have weekly quizzes, journals and reports, make sure those continue. 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 the daily classroom lessons.
Embrace the 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. Rewards? Holidays are always a great excuse for candy.
Empower your Students
Since you are welcoming the season and acknowledging that the calendar year is coming to a close, enlist students to watch out for anyone bringing up the pending break. Explain to them the way to make the holiday break even more fulfilling is to not let it affect the work at hand. Ask them to be extra vigilant to ensure everyone, even you, is completely focused on the work at hand and not daydreaming about the holidays. Make it a game where the reward is keeping on task and not letting upcoming excitement disrupt their learning experience.
Don’t Let the Temptations of the Holidays Take You Off Track
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. 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!
Happy Holidays! Let us know the methods you employ to keep the holidays from disrupting your classroom.