I think that as teachers we are always trying to “get through” a tough part of the school year. Each part of the year is tough in its own way.
The beginning of the year…you’re trying to learn your students and set routines and procedures.
In November and December…you are dealing with students who are antsy to get to the holidays.
At the end of the year…well that one just speaks for itself!
When I was teaching (if you’re new here, I resigned in May of 2022 to stay home with my kiddos and devote more time to my business of creating resources for teachers), there was one time of the year that I found the hardest. It was the time of the year when I was, admittedly, just trying to “get through” it and trying to make it go as fast as possible. The day after Martin Luther King Day until Spring Break.
Look at your district calendar and skim that time frame – I am guessing you could count on 3-4 fingers the amount of extra days off you will have during that time. Look at the weather for that time period – if you’re like me and experience a true winter, you know that BY FAR most of those days will have indoor recess. Indoor recess means that you will no longer have an empty classroom for the much-needed break. Indoor recess means that your students will have an abundance of energy, and nowhere to ‘put’ it. If you have a classroom management strategy or procedure, chances are it is starting to become a big ‘been there, done that’ by this point in the year for most of your students. You are all feeling the mundane-ness of the year, yet there is still so far to go and much learning to be done. This time of year is hard. Period.
I wish I had brilliant ways to get through this tough time of year. Of course, you can pull out a new classroom management strategy for your students to get excited about – DOJO, class tickets, or another reward system. You could provide more brain breaks, but in my experience those often brought students even more off track than they were to begin with.
In most of my posts, I try to offer solutions to teacher challenges, as I think that my decade in education gave me enough experience to have solutions to many of the problems that we face on a day-to-day basis. I think my point of this post, however, is simply to help you feel acknowledged. This time of year is hard. I see you, I hear your frustration, and I know that you will do your best to put on that smile and continue to teach your students with enthusiasm and gusto (even if you have to pull it out of your you-know-what on most days).
So that’s that. I see you, I hear you, and I APPRECIATE everything you do to help your students this time of year and always.
Okay, so maybe i’ll offer one suggestion. While it may be too cold for recess, it is rarely too cold for an 8-10 minute stroll. So if your students just really need to move, or you need that *VITAMIN D*, bundle up your students and take them outside to walk around the building for 10 minutes. I promise, it will help your mental state and theirs also.
Sending my best, while looking out of my kitchen window at snow and clouds!
How do you ‘get through’ this LONG, COLD stretch of the school year with your students?