Every teacher loves a vacation. It’s a chance to refresh and renew ourselves. It’s a chance to enjoy a quiet morning, sipping on coffee with no time schedule or rushing out the door. While this much needed vacation may feel like a million bucks, we all know it’s a huge struggle to jump back on board once that vacation is over. Not only do we struggle as teachers to return to a sense of normalcy, but our students do as well.
So, how do you keep a routine after you’ve returned from a day off, a week off, or summer vacation?
Here are my top five tips for keeping my classroom structure and my students on routine – for the beginning of the school year and after school breaks!
Tip 1: Show up prepared for the first day back. If you are unorganized, tired or aren’t prepared for the students, it will only lead to a very long and draining day back. Plan extra activities that will allow your children to move around and get those jitters out.
Tip 2: Stick to your routine!! It is CRUCIAL and your students will thank you for it. Don’t all of a sudden change your entire schedule up because you saw something on Pinterest or read an article while on break…it will throw EVERYTHING off!
Tip 3: Review your classroom rules, procedures and expectations. No matter how short the break was or how far you are into the school year, ALWAYS take time to review your classroom policies. It will keep things much more productive in your classroom.
Tip 4: Keep your expectations high, but also know your students will be excited to return to school and share about all the excitement they had over break. Allow for both active and quiet times in the classroom that allow them to express their feelings.
Tip 5: LASTLY, stay positive!! Keeping a positive mind towards your work and your students will only help motivate you to survive though the rest of the school year.
Erin Sawyer has been an elementary school teacher for 8 years and currently teaches sixth grade. She has also taught third and fourth grades. Erin enjoys finding resources that will motivate and challenge her students to learn. She also serves as the student council mentor to the upper-grade students.