I don’t know about you, but I dread returning Monday morning after the holiday break. Over the year’s I’ve accumulated some teacher tips that I think are essential for a smooth start to the New Year- literally.
Ok- It’s not the students-It’s not the teachers-It’s not the job-It’s me freaking out whether or not I’ll REALLY be ready for the whole first day. Yes, I have my power point ready with all my lessons! Yes, I have my lessons planned! Yes, I cleaned up all the Christmas and Holiday decorations! And, Yes, I have my snowman decor out–it’s just that first day trepidation of churning 150 students or more through my doors the first day back, knowing what’s lies ahead between now and the next break and it all get’s into one pile in my head and I do get a bit stressed out about it. Maybe this isn’t you at all–maybe you don’t worry about anything! Hurrah!
If you do have some trepidation-for whatever reason-here are some teacher tips to help you out.
TEACHING TIP #1 SMILE AND MAKE THEM FEEL WELCOME
I try to memorize all of my students names. When we return from the break we sing our hello song at the beginning of class and then I sing all of their names again. This helps me and then to re-connect. I take my chart with me and walk around the room and look at them as I sing their name. I tell them I want to make sure I’ve got them all right here in my brain. They smile and this helps them feel safe again in my room and welcome. I’ll also get out my winter puppets to help me.
TEACHING TIP #2 REVIEW RULES AND PROCEDURES
I have a fun song that we sing about personal space. I just pull this out for a review once in a while.
It goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
TEACHING TIP # 3 PLAY A GAME
I like to play some kind of game with my older students and give them a chance to share a bit about their holiday vacation.
I made up some fun snow themed games.
Or, Here’s a simple one you can use with a bean bag or a ball.
Have everyone sit in a circle.
Explain that everyone is going to get a turn to share something about their vacation. Ask students to come up with an idea that describes their favorite activity in 1 or 2 words. See the examples below.
Pat the steady beat on your knees.
Teacher begins with the bean bag.
Whether you teach 200 or 1,200 students, it’s a challenge to learn all of those kiddos’ names. And it depends on what kind of learner