Tips to re engage your students after a holiday break

Sunday, December 31, 2017
Christmas break, Spring name it and well ~ let's all be honest here - Teachers LOVE it!  Don't get us wrong we love our students to pieces and pour our heart and soul into them, but we be tired peeps!  Can I hear an amen!?!?!

tips to get kids back on track before or after a holiday break

We love our break and sometimes staying in our PJ's all day...ok that doesn't really happen that often if you are a busy mom but even if for a few hours we can pee when we want, drink coffee in peace and not be on a schedule...yes please!

With that being said, we kinda sorta dread don't eagerly await heading back to school.  Again, it's not because of the kids - we miss them and adore them.  BUT, getting back into a routine, not wearing our pj's till noon, ( ok, I never do that but I've seen pics on Instagram of teachers that do ) LOL and more importantly getting our students back in the groove can be a bit let's say ...rough.
I mean how many times do we say to our students," You couldn't do that back in August and you know you can't do that now."  "We've been in school 5 months you know where to turn that in. "    
" Johnny, we don't eat glue!" 
 This part is not our favorite, it seems like we spend much of January re training our students
Believe me I'm not putting down our precious friends, but again in all honesty this is reality right teacher friends!?!?  So what to do, what to do???
My biggest tip for getting their behavior back on track is to...

behavior management tips for after holiday breaks

I know that sounds kinda counter intuitive right!?!?!  I mean we are all about consistency and a stable environment, etc. etc.  So why in the world would we switch things up?  Well I view it kinda like when you have hit a plateau in a weight loss journey.  I mean wasn't it Albert Einstein that had the quote, " The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. "  If you have hit a plateau in your weight loss - you change things up, hit the gym or the running trails, hop in the pool, start weight training if you haven't.  It's kinda the same with behavior management sometimes.  
Don't bang your head against a wall - repeating yourself to your students and using the plan you have always used.  

Try something new, and watch the magic happen my friends.  Your students will be more attentive and strive to do better if they are trying to achieve something they haven't 'seen' before.  It will be new and exciting to them and they will strive to hit the mark.

behavior management tips

Every single time I switch things up I get a great return for my investment if that makes sense.  Whether I think of this new 'thing' myself or find another teacher sista from another mista or brother from another motha that has a brilliant idea that I can use I always try something new.  I love watching their sweet faces and seeing their eyes light up and their ears perk up.  They want to hear what they can earn and how... the how is important folks.  The how is very important.  Yes, they can earn table points, yes you can pick a mystery walker...blah, blah, blah.  I'm not putting these things down because they work.  BUT what about buying a puzzle at the dollar store and they earn a piece every time you get a compliment or see the class engaging and working together to solve problems.  Instead of working quietly maybe they earn it by having academic maybe it's a little louder in your room but they are engaged and having great discussions!!! 
 When the puzzle is complete they can earn SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE NEVER OFFERED BEFORE.  Have you had a forts and flashlights day?  ( flashlights can be purchased for a dollar in the camping section of Walmart btw )...pssh - they LOVE this day!  Have you had a bubble blowing day on the playground?  Buy some bubbles and give your students wands and let them...wait for it - PLAY!!!! Yes, I said it - play!  Be creative there are lots of rewards you can give them that don't cost you much.  I recently had a flashlights and fort day in my classroom and asked the kids to bring in flashlights, I had a handful for kids that forgot and others shared.  I heard my students saying, " This is the best day ever!"
Keep your rules and expectations the same, I'm not suggesting you do something crazy.  But, switch up an incentive to get them back on track.  Have you ever spelled out a mystery phrase and they earn letters?  They love trying to solve it Wheel of Fortune style...and it cracks me up.  As they earn more letters it gets easier for them to figure out and if they figure it out before they earn all the letters that's okay because they are still just as excited.  Here's a list of some ideas you can add to your repertoire or re use if you forgot about it or haven't used it in years...

behavior management tips

What are some things you do to switch things up in your classroom when you think your students could use a 'jumpstart'?  As always my friends, happy teaching!

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