It’s time to do a seasonal check-in. Some of you have had your spring break. Others are still longing for it. Your students are either going stir-crazy from a long winter or they’re distracted by the onset of spring sports and warmer weather. (My apologies to any readers from the southern hemisphere who are enjoying autumn and the coming of winter.)
Back in the Mesozoic era when I still somewhat seriously referred to myself as a teacher, I looked forward to December break as a chance to do a few things: Enjoy winter weather. Enjoy my kids. Sleep an extra half hour every morning. Do some planning for January’s classes. Recharge my batteries. I think it was that last one that was most important.
You know what I always wanted to do? Teach summer school.
Before the end of the school year sneaks up on you and wallops you upside the back of the head, stop right now and think about some of the lessons you’ve learned this year. If you haven’t noted the people you want to thank, the compliments you’ve wanted to give, or the ideas you’ve had for next year, do it now. Here are some prompts to help you.
Is it just me, or did someone set the 2012 calendar to “Stun”? Really? It’s the middle of the second week of May already? Where did this come from? I’m stunned. If you’re feeling the same way, then I think it’s a good idea if I get a few items of looming summer business out of the way
You could probably wield even your most rudimentary Psychology 101 skills to write a 400-page case study of me when I tell you that the last six weeks of the school year filled me with dread and anxiety. A Teacher’s Plan Book stuffed full of notes, remarks, reminders, failures, and successes took center stage on my desk. It gently prodded me, “Hey, Mr. S., don’t forget about all the cool things we were going to do this year!”
Late December. Winter break is looming. The students are restless. The teacher is equally so. Your colleague in the classroom next door is playing “The Polar Express” just a little too loud and your students know other people—their friends—are enjoying a movie while they’re concentrating on multiplying and dividing decimals.
How did I get ready to head back into my classroom as the new school year loomed? By tackling the pile of papers and artifacts left over from the day I brought everything home in June, of course. I was a pro teacher, after all. Later, I’d pick up a new lesson plan book, buy a few new resource books, create some language arts and reading worksheets, and ready a few new bulletin board displays. The next day was the day school doors were unlocked for teachers. How do you mentally and physically prepare to head back to your classroom?
I think we, as parents and teachers, sometimes worry too much about what students might forget over the summer. Luckily, math in the real world is all around us. All we need to do is point it out. And whether you’re a registered guest, or a Companion or Idea Center Gold member, TheMailbox.com is the perfect place to find tips, ideas, worksheets, and more that will keep math fresh in the minds of youngsters. Have any tips you’d like to share?
The day after the last day of school, all I wanted was to be on vacation with my family. At the same time, with the taste of a well-chewed school year still fresh in my mouth, I wanted to sit down with a new lesson plan book and get August and September organized, October outlined, and the busy months of November and December cooking on the back burner. Tell us your number one tip for decompressing after a long school year. Explain your best suggestion for convincing yourself to start planning for a new school year when it’s the middle of summer.keep looking »