Students aren’t the only ones who long for breaks from the school year. Teachers desire these breaks as well, and they use these much-needed breaks to recharge. But of course, all good things must come to an end and at some point students and teachers have to return to school. It can be a challenge at times for teachers to get students to refocus and jump back into the routine of school, especially if the break has been really long. Teacher friends, here are some tips for taming your students after a break.
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Review classroom and school rules and procedures.
Yes, you went over the rules at the beginning of the school year in August or September. You did a really great job with that. I forgot to tell you that earlier. There is no harm in reminding students about the rules and procedures of both your classroom and the school. Most of our students probably get to enjoy a lot of freedoms when they are at home during a break. They may want to try to extend their desires for more freedom when they return to your classroom. You don’t have to go all Miss Trunchbull on the first day back, but you can make sure that they realize that they are back at school and the rules that they learned at the beginning of the year still apply.
Have a special morning meeting or journal writing period.
When students return from a break, they are dying to tell you where they went and what they did. Sometimes they like to share during the wrong time, like in the middle of you teaching a bomb lesson. You definitely want to let them get their stories out, and there are few ways to do that. If you already hold morning meetings in your classroom, you can have a special session for each student to tell the class about what they did during the break. If you don’t hold morning meetings regularly, you can make this a special event in your classroom. If morning meetings aren’t your thing at all, have your students write in their journals about their adventures during the break and then let them read their journal entries to their classmates.
Keep your daily schedule in place.
The day after a break is hard for teachers and students. As much as you might want to play episodes of the Magic School Bus all day, it’s important for you to get right back to your daily schedule. Teach math at 9 AM? Don’t change it when you return. Don’t wait until next week to get back into your regular groove. Your students need to be on their regular schedule as soon as they return from break. More than likely, they stayed up late and slept in late every day during the break. You probably did too. I do it every single break that I get. No shame here, teacher friends. So, in an effort to get back on track, stick to your regular schedule.
In the comments below, tell me your tips for returning to school after a break.
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