We hope that everyone's Christmas break was wonderful! As the break comes to an end, some of you may be getting mini panic attacks at the thought of being back at school. Let’s try easing you back into school mode slowly with some easy tips to ensure you all have a smooth transition back to school this week!
Here are 5 ways to survive the first day back after winter break:
Manage Expectations Think of the first day back as a mini first day of school again! There is bound to be one of two kids that come late, some will be absent, some will cry and, depending on the grade you teach, maybe even a bathroom incident. At the very least your students will be very excited to see each other again! Consider preparing a fun activity for the kids that allows them to share stories about what they did during their break. This can turn disruptive class chatter into a constructive class activity (it may even be quiet at times!). We found this freebie on Pinterest and loved it! Click on the image to download this and use it in your class!
Over Prepare Just like you did on that first day in September,it’s always best to over-plan and over-prepare for everything! You’ll be ready for anything unexpected that comes up, and you’ll also be ready for the next few days of school if you don’t end up using everything on the first day. Spend your Sunday browsing Pinterest or check out our eBooks online! Instant downloading means you just need to buy, download and print! It's so easy! PLUS, eBooks are compatible with SmartBoards and enhanced eBooks can be manipulated using Adobe! Tailor worksheets for your lessons, all from the comfort of your couch (while in your pjs- savour this moment! You're back to teacher clothes Monday).
Be Flexible With The Schedule Follow your class’s lead! Shorten or lengthen work periods depending on how things are going with your individual students at that moment. This is something you most likely try to do throughout the year but it is essential on days like the first day back after winter break, when your kids might be feeling particularly fidgety! Remember, January gives you a great chance to reboot your behavior plan or try something entirely new to keep your students motivated & on task.
Plan Fun Surprises When all else fails, plan some fun surprises for your students. Pinterest is filled with fun winter science activities, crafts and games. Also consider updating your bulletin boards. If you took down all the festive decorations you had up before the break, the bare walls might leave you all feeling blah about being back in the classroom! Consider an update! Get them excited for what they will be learning about/celebrating in the next couple months (100th day, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Black History Month...).
Plan a Reward For Yourself Give yourself something to look forward to no matter how small… a new book, a delicious cup of tea (and perhaps some chocolate to go with that?), start a new TV series on Netflix (Magic School Bus? There is a revival coming!), or a relaxing essential oil to help you get to bed and have a good night's sleep. After all, you're winter break is over! No more sleeping in for you!
Good Luck- you'll do great! If you have other tips on how to survive the first day back, be sure to leave a comment below for all your fellow teachers to see!