Their eyes will glaze over during class with visions of robot toys that shoot lasers at annoying little sisters, or video games that blow up evil empires while simultaneously chatting with an opponent in the UK.
As engaging as we try to make our lessons, they will not be able to compete with the big man in the fat red suit sporting a white beard who owns flying reindeer. Yes. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all at risk of becoming a Grinch.
Before it's too late, I've pulled together five safeguards to protect our students, parents, and ourselves.
Safeguard #1: Expand your Heart
But what about the non-Cindy Loo Who's who will fail to complete assignments, push your last button, and then go home and tell their parent that you hate them. Take a deep breath. A mentor of mine once said, "Fake it until you feel it." Act like you love The Cindy Loo Who's and the Non-Cindy Loo Who's and you'll be surprised when your heart catches up!
Safeguard #2. Collaborate don't isolate.
It is easy to feel like you are the only teacher on the planet who is considering early retirement (and
it's your first year) but know that you are not alone! Teachers all across the U.S. and Canada are feeling the effects, as well.
Just as you would never attempt Black Friday or Brown Thursday alone, you should not take on the days and weeks leading up to winter break alone. Go to your team and express how you are feeling.
Chocolate also helps.
Safeguard #3. Be realistic.
Ask yourself. What assignments can wait until these variable diminish? Separate the need to do's from the I want to's and you will become far less frustrated. Taking on too much can make you feel like you are a horrible teacher, which of course, you aren't.
Safeguard #4. Be kind.
Even if you have failed miserably at Safeguards #1-#3, it is never too late to change your behavior. Before sending out the mass email and a bcc: to your principal about the teacher whose students are climbing the walls. Stop!
This is the perfect moment to engage in a random act of kindness!
Safeguard #5. Be thankful
Hands-down one of the best Grinch repellents is a spirit of thankfulness. Begin making a list of reasons to be thankful. Warning: While you may exude thankfulness on a normal basis, you may struggle. This isn't to say you aren't a grateful person...because you are! Remembering the reasons you are thankful is more about reminding you of the person you truly are. You are NOT a Grinch..so don't act like one!
- How can administrators support teachers who are dealing with "seasonal" behavior issues?
- Why is it important for teachers to stay connected to their PLC or mentor teachers and not isolate?
- What are the benefits of closing the Teacher Evaluation Window the week before a holiday break?