By Teachers, For Teachers
The holidays are a time of happiness, joy, and laughter. They are also a time when children are bouncing off of the walls because of all of the excitement. When your students get too overly excited about the holiday season, it can really make an impact on your classroom, and your teaching strategies. Luckily, there are many experienced teachers that have been through these times, and know just how to make teaching a little less stressful during the holiday season. Here are a few teaching strategies from the teachers who have survived these fun-yet-overzealous holiday months.
An organized classroom is a happy classroom. During the holiday season, your classroom may get untidy from all of the holiday crafts and parties. But if you want to keep your nice organized classroom the way that you like it, then you must try your best to stay organized. If you had students hand in their assignments at the back table but it’s now being used as the holiday craft table, then relocate this area, and don’t let students throw their papers on the table where you won’t be able to find them. Keeping organized during this hectic time of the year will save you a lot of stress.
As you know, children thrive on routine. However, the holiday season means that your routine is bound to change because of holiday parties, classroom gift exchanges, etc. Don’t fret, it’s OK to break from your normal routine for a period of time, but try and stick to it as much as you can. While the students should be able to adjust (since it won’t be a huge change), you still need to make sure that you tell your students the new schedule so they can get accustomed to it during the holiday months.
While it’s suggested that you give your students brain breaks daily, the holidays are a time where you need to make sure you’re doing this because of all of the excitement about the holidays. If you want your classroom to be less stressful during this time, then you must incorporate movement or exercise several times throughout the school day. For example, when you complete an activity or lesson, have students get up for about 1-5 minutes to get their nerves or wiggles out. You can do a few yoga moves, get up and stretch, have a quick dance party, or do the app Go Noodle with your students. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can settle your students down.
The holidays are a busy time, and instead of taking your spare time and researching new lessons when you can be spending time with your family, try utilizing technology. Technology can be a great way to make teaching less stressful during the holidays because it saves you time on researching lessons and ideas for your classroom. You can have students go online and research a project, use apps for review, or just print out DIY projects for students to complete with their peers. No one ever said that you had to come up with a new lesson every month. Take this holiday season to relax and leave it up to technology to do the rest.
While you want to give your students a fun and festive experience this time of year, you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating lessons and crafts and parties that are over the top. Essentially, you don’t have to try so hard, anything that you do during the holiday season will be good enough for your students. For example, instead of trying to find the perfect gift for your students, you can just use the free books that you get from ordering from your book club. Think simple, and you will be on the road to having a stress-free holiday. Remember, the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and fun, so don’t be afraid to have a good time with your students. Have a sense of humor and try and enjoy the holidays.
Do you have any teaching strategies for making school less stressful during the holiday season? Please share with us! We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.