You may not have known, but I really needed a break – and I took one for about the last two weeks. The problem was that I lost all sense of time and space. “What day of the week is it? No, I haven’t heard the news. What blog post? What do you mean, ‘It’s noon?’” Yes, having vacation time is great, but at some point, we need to resume our regular routine – though getting back into that routine can be difficult, to say the least.
I jumped back into work a few days ago providing staff development at a school nearby. Having worked with the group before, I was excited about the session – which went super well. However, I did have to call upon my behavior management skills more so than usual. I waited, as it took longer to get the group’s attention. I was understanding, as there were more side discussions. I was patient, breaking up the material into shorter chunks and allowing for more process time. Before you judge – this is always the case when I present to groups in early August and January. After extended breaks, we need more unstructured time to talk, move, and ease back into our school routines.
Teachers, remember that just because your students need the structure school affords, doesn’t mean they are ready to accept it. When school starts back up, students might want to follow directions, attend, and learn, but their bodies might override their desire to do so at first. We also must keep in mind that we don’t know what some of our students might have been exposed to or had to deal with over the break, so assume positive intent. You and your students will both adjust and get back into the groove of things – but, better to ride that wave with them than against.