Welcome back from the fall break. December can be a demanding month for teachers: you’ve just had one short break and are really really looking forward to the longer one, but there are projects and exams and deadlines in the way. It can be really tempting to just “power through” by counting the days, lowering expectations, and working non-stop but I want to challenge you this year to take a different approach.
Spend December caring for yourself (and for students) and noticing the small things:
Staying up all night could help you meet a deadline, but it will also ensure you’re too tired to be your best the next day.
Cutting out rigorous content could make students more compliant now, but it won’t make for an easier start next semester.
Counting down the days/hours/seconds to break may help you push through in the moment, but it won’t be nearly as energizing as taking time each day to celebrate one accomplishment you and your students have had together over the semester.
I know these things are easier said than done but I also know they’re worth it. These words are a call to action for myself as well. Re-framing the hard times is never my initial instinct but it is the practice that has helped me to stay committed and engaged in the difficult work we do as educators.
So, do your best! Eat well. Sleep. Teach the lessons that matter. Try the new routine- no need to wait for January. December will come and go, but we do have the capacity to end it stronger than we were coming in as opposed to fully depleted. As a coach, that’s my hope for you all. You can do this and we’re here to help you.