Cassidy Education hopes that everyone’s winter break has been filled with gingerbread, lattes, & lots of cheesy Hallmark movies. Sadly some of you may already be getting mini panic attacks at the thought of being back at school. Let’s try easing you back into school mode slowly with some baby steps, hopefully ensuring you all have a smooth transition back to school in January!
Okay so start with the easy stuff. Plan what you’re going to wear – for many that involves conquering a mountain of laundry so all the better to start now! Pack your teacher bag. Clean out any remnants of holiday treats and plan & pack your meals & snacks for the first day and be sure to go to bed early.
One of the things that will help you through the first day back is to remember that it’s like a mini first day of school all over again. Kids will be super late, some will be absent, some will cry and maybe even a bathroom incident. At the very least your students will be very excited to see each other again and will want to spend some time chatting.
Try letting each child share one brief memory from the winter break as part of your opening circle time.
Try going into the day with low to zero expectations and then when your class behaves wonderfully it’ll be a lovely surprise! January gives a great opportunity to reboot your behaviour plan or even try something completely different in an effort to keep your students motivated & on task.
The first day back is a great day to read engaging books that are a bit longer. Students can sustain their attention for an amazing story for much longer than they can keep working on more independent academic work at times like this.
Just like on the actual first day of school it’s always best to over-plan and over-prepare for everything! You’ll be ready for anything unexpected that comes up but you’ll also be ready for the next few days of school if you don’t end up using everything on the first day.
Another thing that helps on days like this is to be flexible with your schedule. Follow your class’s lead and shorten or lengthen work periods depending on how things are going with your individual students at that moment. This is something to try to do throughout the year but especially on days when your kids might be feeling a little bit more fidgety!
A great tip for any first day back at school or really for any day in gloomy January is to plan some rewards for you. Give yourself something to look forward to no matter how small it might seem: a new magazine, nail polish, candy, or a new relaxing TV show.
And last but not least go home as soon as you can!