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It is NOT the most wonderful time of the year…

10 Dec 2019

I love Christmas: cosy nights, warm fires, good food, and people wishing each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or it can be the worst if you’re with a class full of children who are desperate for the Christmas break and just as eager to do as many “Christmas activities” as possible. (And heaven forbid it starts snowing and the whole class suddenly shouting “it’s snowing!” as it’s far more exciting than the trial of Charles I.) 

It’s not just the kids who are desperate for the Christmas holidays to begin - you probably haven’t even started buying or wrapping presents yet! I used to be so drained at the end of a day of teaching that I had no energy to do anything except make tea and get into bed...

So how do you turn it around and, in the crooning words of Michael Bublé, make it begin to look a lot like Christmas? Here are 5 simple ways to keep yourself from going mad this Christmas, and actually, enjoy this most wonderful time of the year!

 

1. Classroom attitude

Keep routine and classroom attitude expectations high. Explain to them that it’s really exciting and you need to keep the standards otherwise you can’t do the fun activities.

If you want to reinforce your classroom expectations in a Christmassy way, you could try the STAR method:

Sit up

Track (look at) the speaker

Ask and answer questions

Respect those around you

This is also available as one of our strategies.

 

2. Have purposeful Christmas activities

Treat Christmas activities in exactly the same way as normal activities. Expect the same levels of attention, behaviour, etc. 

Also make sure your Christmas activities are purposeful. If you give your pupils work that doesn’t matter, why should they behave or focus on it?

Christmas-themed Maths activities, learning about Christmas traditions from other parts of the world or from different parts of History, singing carols or songs, or Christmas writing activities. 

You may say, “but this is more planning! I don’t have time or the energy!” Fear not, you can find thousands of purposeful, Christmas-themes resources (many of them free) at Twinkl.

 

3. Do something good for someone else

Whether it’s taking round chocolates or tea for Random Acts of Kindness, or whether you organise a donation to a local food bank, Secret Santa for children in need, or donate gifts to nursing and care homes, it can leave you (and your pupils) with good cheer at Christmas time.

 

4. Lots of water and Vitamin C

I love a satsuma at Christmas, and used to eat at least 4 a day to ward off colds, as well as drinking lots of water (on its own, hot with lemon, or with squash). Keep your energy up!

 

5. Treat Yourself

In the spirit of Christmas, and to quote Parks and Recreation, treat yourself. It’s so hard at Christmas Last Wednesday evening I shut the curtains, lit a candle, made a luxury hot chocolate and read my book (Suite Française, would definitely recommend!). It’s the little things that can spur you to keep going through until the end.

 

Treat yourself in the New Year to a new method of professional development, from us to you. Sign up for OneStep and access over 20 free strategies to improve teaching and learning in your classroom.


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