Finish Strong – Start Strong

As we wind down 2016 and head into this Holiday Break, remember to finish strong.  Kids (and some adults too) get a little itchy this time of year.  As adults our minds stray to all of the holiday tasks still to be done:  the shopping, the baking, the wrapping, the cooking… it’s stress inducing, no doubt.  For kids, their minds may be wandering to the anticipation of visiting with family, the gifts they’ll give and receive, the traditions in which they’ll take part…at least we hope this where their minds wander.

We know, however, that not all of our students’ winter break will be filled with laughter and joy.  Many minds wander to worry – worry about whether or not there will be gifts, or family to visit, or from where the next meal will come.  We know we have students in difficult situations who worry about who will smile at them, be nice to them, or be proud of them during break.  For some students, a vacation from school is tough, and this feeling can show up in their behavior, right about now.

So, what to do?  Do what you do best – be prepared with an awesome lesson, be consistent in holding students accountable, and be kind and understanding, always.  While it’s easy to look ahead only to December 22nd (almost there!), don’t deny the week of January 3rd your time in planning!  Be sure to give the new year your attention now too.  You’ll thank  yourself (and your colleagues will appreciate it too) for the prep work you put in now to have meaningful, engaging lessons ready to go for the week of January 3rd.

If lesson prep for the new year hasn’t hit your to-do list yet, be sure to add that so you can start strong in 2017.  After all, you need a hiatus from school work over the break.  Get those lesson plans in now so your holiday break to-do list can include:  laughter, joy, merriment, naps, friends, family, naps, good food, and whatever spiritual (or non-spiritual) traditions you choose.  You all deserve it – it’s been an awesome 2016!  I’m looking forward to what our journey brings to our classrooms and school house in 2017.

Many happy wishes for a wonderful, relaxing holiday!

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