By Teachers, For Teachers
Here it is mid January and not a snow day in sight! For Connecticut this is a rare phenomena indeed. We have had our share of cold, damp, and rainy, weather but no accumulated snowfall to cause both teacher and student alike to be glued to the evening news awaiting those wonderful words flashing across the screen “New Haven Schools Closed”!
With winter days passing one into another and no hope of an early spring, I find myself struggling to escape the winter doldrums or as I like to refer to it as “hibernation season”. It is at this point I find myself overly tired, less excited, and in much need of a seasonal makeover.
I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that my students now enter the classroom dragging. What was once a bouncy, excited, fourth grader has been replaced with a slow-moving, cranky bear.There are even times a morning greeting is met with a low grunt. Activities that once produced a loud (sometimes too loud) cheerful response has evolved into a low whining “ do I have to” response. Ever so slowly heads are beginning to bob side to side or fall gently onto desks as I read aloud. I am losing my students quick- hibernation is starting to set in. Worse part, I am ready to join them!
It is not uncommon for classrooms to experience these “winter blahs”. The lack of sunlight, shorter days, and earlier sunsets, affect mood as well as activity level. Poor weather conditions that prevent outside recess create cabin fever which can lead to stress and strain in the classroom . Togetherness is great but sometimes we need our s-p-a-c-e. Students become antsy, bored, and eventually mischieveous.
My wake-up call was when I noticed my head bobbing up and down during our latest reading session. Embarassed to say, I was the one reading! It was time to create a plan to bring these kids and myself out of hibernation.
I knew if I looked on google I would find a few creative ideas. I started with the obvious- get moving.
If all the above ideas fail and I hope they don't, you can always sip on added caffeine, plan a few extra personal days (although I like to save mine for nicer weather), and pray for snow!