It’s almost winter break! I know that you love your students, but you also love having some time off to rest and relax with your family, friends, and pets.
You deserve this break!
If you are going to truly enjoy your time off, there are a few things you really need to do before winter break.
You can do this, my friend!
1. Prep Lesson Plans and Materials
You might not want to hear this, but lesson planning for the first week back is the best way to ensure that you don’t stress about school over break.
So instead of complaining about not wanting to do it, plan an hour or two to get it done. Just keep imagining how good it will feel and that can be your motivation and push!
As you are lesson planning, please keep in mind that the first week back from break may not be exactly business as usual.
I suggest scheduling time for:
- sharing about winter break
- celebrating the new year
- reviewing classroom rules and procedures
- reviewing classroom routines
The good news is that I have some freebies to make your plans easier!
Click HERE to grab some FREE games for reviewing classroom rules and procedures.
Click on the button below to grab your FREE New Years paper bag book!
See, you are already well on your way to getting that first week prepped!
2. Clean Off Your Desk
What does your desk look like right now? Is it piled high with holiday cards, stacks of papers to be graded, empty soda bottles and candy wrappers?
It’s tempting to run out of the building as soon as your kids leave the day before break. I generally encourage that.
But, you are NOT going to want to come back to that mess in January! Trust me!
So, grab the trash can and start filling it up. I won’t even tell on you if that stack of ungraded papers “accidentally” drops into the trash can. Do what you’ve got to do!
Bonus points if you can manage to clean the desk before your kids leave for break so that you can leave when they leave!
Be ready to start fresh when you return to school after break.
3. Turn Email to Out of Office
Repeat after me.
“I will not obsessively check my school email over the break.”
In fact, I want to challenge you to take this a step farther. Can you commit to not checking your work email more than once per week over your break?
Checking your email is a routine and habit. It may seem harmless. However, it only takes one tough email from a parent, coworker or administrator to ruin a day of your break. We have all been there.
It goes something like this…
A parent sends you an email about some grades and implies that you have not done your job correctly. You become upset and stressed. You can’t think about anything but this email. You can’t talk about anything but this email. Your family time is spent venting about a parent.
My fiend, you seriously deserve a break. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a break.
This incident can wait. So don’t check the email!
Instead, turn the Out of Office setting on your email. This setting will automatically send a reply to any email that you receive over the break.
The message can be something like…
“Happy holidays! I am currently enjoying my winter break with family and friends. I will be certain to reply to your message as soon as I return to school on January 6th. Thank you!”
Boom! No one will think that you are being rude and ignoring them.
Enjoy your holidays and spend your break enjoying family and hobbies that make you happy! Your students need you to come back to school refreshed in January.