Winter break is just around the corner which means it’s time to sit back and relax…I mean be productive…no relax…no be productive. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! It’s hard to try to relax when you feel like you should be working on things at home or getting ahead for the following semester. However, you can make the most of winter break with these great tips! Keep reading to crush Winter Break!
Chart Your Course: Plan Ahead for a Smooth Transition
The key to making the most of winter break starts before break really begins. If you take the time to tie up some loose ends like finalizing lesson plans and organizing your class, future you will be grateful! Trust me when I say, this is how teachers can make the most of winter break by eating the transition back to school. A few things you can do before break include:
- Wrapping up grading. The last thing you want to do over break is grade. Get everything in before you leave.
- Outline future lessons. Getting a rough idea what you’re going to do as well as a few lesson plans for the weeks following break will be a lifesaver later!
- Prep classroom supplies. Restock anything that needs to be restocked and create a welcoming environment for your return. If you’ve used our center organization techniques, you can even have your centers out and ready to go. You can also get our Review in a Snap January printables all sorted to add flair to your classroom right when you get back!
Bond and Reconnect to Make the Most of Winter Break
Teachers are nurturers; it’s who we are. However, this break, make time to nurture your own relationships. Make sure you are spending time with family and friends who you don’t see every day. You can also take time to catch up with fellow educators. Just remember, emotional well-being is just as important as professional development. When you have a balance, you’ll be able to recharge over winter break. Here are some ways you can find balance and reconnect to make the most of winter break.
- Family time: Plan activities that are fun for the whole family to do together. This can be doing something holiday related or just a game night with friends and family.
- Connect with colleagues: Sometimes it’s good to get together with people who have your same job. You can talk about insights or challenges you’ve faced. You might learn something new.
- Self-Care: Never forget about you! It’s important during winter break to spend time doing what you love too. Doing something just for you can help you refresh before going back to school.
Read Something on Your “To Read” List
One of my favorite things to do to make the most of winter break is to finally read one of the books I’ve been dying to read. Whether it’s a professional development book or fiction, getting a chance to read allows us to escape! It’s another smart way teachers can make the most of winter break. Need some ideas for a great read? Here are a few ways to choose.
- Go for Variety: Don’t limit yourself to just educational books. Reading something just for fun can be really refreshing.
- Book Clubs: If you have some time, try joining or starting a teacher book club to talk about different strategies.
- Use e-books and audiobooks: These can be great for multitasking or when you’re on the go to family events.
Reflect and Set Intentions
Finally, to make the most of winter break, make sure you take the time to reflect on your teaching. What has worked? What could be improved? Make sure you set some achievable goals for the rest of the school year. This reflection is how teachers can really make the most of winter break and sometimes is how you really get ahead. How can you reflect? Here are some ideas.
- Journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings from the past semester can be helpful to really see what you’re feeling. This visual can help provide you with insight.
- Set SMART Goals: Set some goals based on your reflection. However, make sure they are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Get Feedback: Sometimes what other people can tell you is helpful. You have to be ready to hear it. However, if you are, getting different perspectives from students or colleagues can really up your teaching game.
There you have it, Educational Rockstars! These are just a few ways you can make the most of winter break this year. Remember, this is a time to recharge and relax. However, that doesn’t mean you can balance professional tasks and personal enrichment. So, chart your course, reconnect and bond, open a new chapter, and reflect. Work will be there when you get back.