Getting back from Christmas break is hard for both teachers and students. Anytime there’s a break from a regular routine, a period for readjustment is in order. Everybody who struggles to come back to the daily grind from the holidays must push through to get past the initial difficulties. You have to muster enough enthusiasm to get yourself back in gear.
Also, most of your students probably experienced a lot less structure to their days. They were probably allowed to sleep in and have plenty of play time with TV, computer, and other media. Both habits can make that first week challenging, even for the most motivated student.
Easing them back into “school mode” and avoiding any unexpected surprises will take planning and a relaxed approach. Here’s what you can do to make a smooth transition from Christmas presents to textbooks:
1. Let the sharing begin
Many students get super excited to return from break and tell you or their friends what they’ve done during the holidays. Plan activities so they can engage with each other and tell their stories in different ways. Let them:
2. Goal-setting time
Returning to class in January is a chance to start fresh. Reflecting on the past months and what they can do to make the rest of the year better is a great way to do it. Engage your students in significant goal setting, complete with minor checkpoints down the road. These can be about personal or academic goals or a mix of both.
3. Review course materials
Rather than jumping into new materials straight away, review the ones students are already familiar with. Avoid worksheets and provide hands-on practice. Thoroughly review concepts they were working on or mastered before the break. You can always make it fun by playing games or providing practical activities.
You may have had a parent-teacher conference just before the holiday season. If not, take a moment check in with the parents about their child’s progress, especially if you have concerns. It’s still early enough in the year to work on behaviour or skills that are holding them back from reaching their full potential in the current grade.
Make the most of your school’s projection surfaces and use the many writing aids available to put these tips into practice. These teacher tips and reminders can help you have a happy, positive, and encouraging return from Christmas break!
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