More than ever this time of year, our focus is on our students and making sure they're kept busy and entertained so they don't start climbing the walls.. But you mustn't forget to look after yourself too, or these last few days will be less than enjoyable.
Here are my top tips to surviving the last few days before Winter break!
1) Go home early.
You probably stay late after school most days catching up on emails, preparing resources etc. Well I think in this last week especially, you need to be kind to yourself and go home early to get some rest. Don't feel guilty about it either: the students are hyped up and we need all the energy we can get to get through the week!
2) Anything that can wait, can wait.
Prioritize. Look at your to do list and anything that can wait until the New Year, can just wait. There's no point stressing yourself out and working yourself into a frenzy. Do it when you are feeling more rested and geared up, which you will be in a few weeks time, honest! On the other hand, anything that has a deadline for this week should be done and out of the way so you don't have to worry about it over the holiday period.
3) Eat right.
It's easy to reach for something quick and perhaps not the most nutritionally rich when you're tired and starving, but this will just exhaust you more. Make the effort to make healthy choices and feed your body the nutrients it needs to keep your immune system strong and energy levels high. The amount of sneezes and sniffles we come in contact with every day, goodness knows we need it. Getting sick this close to the end would not be cool...
4) Sleep tight.
I know it's party season and all your non-teacher friends are probably out having some festive celebrations midweek, but you might want to consider using this week to ensure your body is well rested. You can always party next week if you can pry yourself out of your holiday coma!
5) Keep students busy but also calm.
The most popular activities teachers do at the end of the year, usually involve something which hypes them up: quizzes, games, parties, videos etc. Although they love all that, it can actually be very draining keeping that momentum going for days on end.
Personally, I prefer the calmer activities which involves students' creativity but also self-reflection meaning they are still engrossed in the lesson but with a much calmer mindset. I have this set of activities which work great with teenage students:
So there you have it, my top 5 tips for surviving the last few days before Winter break. Look after yourself and enjoy your two weeks off - you definitely deserve it!