After a few weeks of no school and visits from family, friends, and Santa it’s hard to get ourselves back in the routine. We go from sleeping in to waking up to the screaming alarm and from some quality family time to a hectic classroom. So, how much energy can we expect students to put towards learning when we are having trouble ourselves?
We don’t get into teaching because of the money or because the parents give us tons of support. We do it for the smiling faces of the students and for the sense of accomplishment that we feel when we give a lesson that really connects to the students. So, here are a few different things that you can do during the holiday break and the first few weeks to ease the transition back into the semester.
Try a similar sleep schedule
Sticking to a similar schedule during the break is probably one of the harder ways to make the transition easier. After weeks of waking up before the sun and getting home after its gone back down it’s hard to not sleep in until lunch. Instead of sleeping in for an extra three to four hours try just one. More sleep isn’t very good for our mental and physical health, so spend the extra time with family or on a new hobby.
We all have our own teaching styles and know how to carry ourselves in the classroom so that the students react positively to our leadership. However, nothing is ever perfect and even a teacher of the year award doesn’t mean that you should work on personal development. Often, teachers spend personal development time gaining knowledge on content, curriculum, and lesson delivery. However, new programs like masters in educational leadership allow teachers to be a successful leader while standing at the front of the classroom. The best part about becoming a student again is that it allows us to see what our students see.
Be Creative/Mix it up
After the first few years of teaching you seemed fall into a rut of doing what you did last year. The lesson plan may only need a few corrections, but essentially delivering the material and content in the same format. Try stepping outside the box and delivering a lesson that you think would be fun if you were the student. Maybe, try using a strategy that a colleague has tried or one that you have found through research. A strategy that is currently being used and analyzed more is flipping the classroom.
Right now there is not one strategy that works more than another. We know that students like technology for entertainment and that they want lessons that are more interactive. Even though the financial resources may not be there, our leadership and true enthusiasm for the learning process if applied to the way we diversify and develop our lesson plans. How can we expect our students to be excited for our lesson plans if we are excited to deliver them?
How do you kick start a semester and get your students to be excited about learning?