Well, Winter Break sure flew by. Where did that time go? I thoroughly enjoy breaks from school, but by the end of week two I’m itching to get back. This anticipation sometimes comes with anxiety. Will I remember all of my students names? Will we pick up right where we left off? Will there be any new behavioral issues I have to deal with since the kids have been “free” for two weeks? How do I come up with creative ideas to keep my classes engaged?
The list can go on and on. I think back to school anxiety is something that many of us encounter from time to time. Over the years, I have developed a few strategies to cope with these feelings and have a successful first week back.
- Spend some time the weekend before school starts going over your lesson plans and reviewing your classroom rules and procedures. Chances are you haven’t forgotten these things, but it can be relaxing to take time to do a little”refresher.” It will help you to refocus yourself and get in to the back-to-school mindset.
- Take it slow the first day back. Your students may be having a hard time readjusting to routines after being on Winter Break. I know you have curriculum to cover and things that you need to get to, but your students aren’t robots. They need some time to reconnect and readjust.
- Do a mini-lesson on your classroom rules, procedures, and processes. This is extremely important because it reminds everyone of the classroom expectations.
- Most importantly, spend time conversing with your students. They may be very excited about an experience they had over break that they want to share. It is so important to allow time to hear them out and foster those relationships. Taking just a few minutes to listen to your students reminds them that you are there for them and that you care about them as individuals.
What do you do to get ready for a successful first week back to school?