Dos and Don’ts of Winter Break for Struggling Teachers
Andrew Pillow
December 30, 2018

Winter Break is upon us. For most teachers around the country, winter break is a time to kick back and relax. While relaxing is an essential part of any break, there are some other activities teachers should consider doing that will make the return in January much easier… and some activities they should avoid.

Do: Lesson Plan

When you survey most teachers about the most time consuming and annoying task on their plate, lesson planning is always near the top. So why should teachers prioritize doing it over break? For precisely the same reason. It’s a lot easier to plan on your own schedule, and less stressful too. Planning may not be what teachers want to do, but come mid-January they will be glad they did.

Don’t: Worry about things in the past

Many teachers struggled the entire first semester and limped to the half-way point of winter break. This is especially true for new teachers. Teachers that fall into this category need to get that experience out of their head. Learn from it, but get over it. There is nothing that can be done about it now.

Do: Refresh seating charts

For teachers that struggled in the first half of the year, this can be a super important item to check off the list. Winter break is a natural point to make some changes. It’s helpful to refresh seating charts during this time because teachers actually have the ability to think and sleep on it as opposed to making changes on the fly. If teachers really want to shake things up, they should consider changing their entire desk arrangement.

Don’t: Anxiously countdown the days

If the first semester didn’t go as planned, then teachers could find themselves dreading the return of school. Similar to the feeling they probably get on Sunday school-nights, but for a whole week or so. Don’t do this. Keeping the start of school in the back of your head is a surefire way to ruin a break. Teachers should limit the time they spend worrying about their classes to a minimum…and not feel guilty about it either.

Do: Catch up on professional development

For struggling teachers, there are literally hundreds of things they can do to improve… but during the school year, there is rarely time to learn or implement them. Winter break is the perfect time to complete that webinar or read that teaching book.

Don’t: Work the entire break

Struggling teachers need to take the actions necessary to ensure they are able to make the next semester better…and that includes rest. Obviously, two whole weeks shouldn’t go by without work being done, but within those two weeks should be plenty of time for leisure and teachers need to take that time.

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