Winter break is over. We have about 18 more weeks of madness, which includes standardized testing season. Winter can get long and dark in January and February. So here are a few easy and inexpensive ways I plan to keep my sanity through the back-to-school slump.
1. Prank my colleagues.
I might get in trouble. It will be worth it.
2. Create a drinking game specific to various class periods.
Only it will NOT actually be alcohol. It will be water. I’ll stay hydrated, and my skin will look amazing! (I’ll just have to make sure I have a passing period during which I can use the bathroom.) Take a drink every time Brandon tries to sidetrack class with a ridiculous question! Drink whenever you have to shush someone!
3. Use my students as pawns for my own amusement.
But not in a mean way. Two of my seventh graders recently started dating, and I may or may not have offered homework passes to a group of students if they followed the new couple around at recess and sang “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” It made me a better teacher, at least for the afternoon.
4. Invest in a range of hot beverages that can be consumed while teaching.
I’m thinking flavored creamers, hot tea, K-Cups … The world is my latte.
5. Assign something fun.
I’m going to challenge my students to make a movie, draw with sidewalk chalk, or choreograph an interpretive dance about The Great Gatsby. Anything goes, really, as long as it’s fun and easy to grade. Kids need a mental health boost, too.
6. Find an excuse to make kids feed me.
I always do a unit on culture around this time, and I allow students to bring in treats to share with others. Encourage students to be creative! Make edible maps! Do some math with marshmallows! Bulk up for winter. I give you my blessing.
7. Incorporate more music into my class.
I offered my kids the chance to go outside five minutes before the end of class to play in a snow flurry … but only if every member of the class sang along to a karaoke version of “Let It Go.” I have no regrets.
Teaching during the winter will never be easy, but there are ways to survive. And if you find yourself at spring break a few pounds heavier and with a note or two in your permanent file, it means you’ve done it right!
Do you have any other tested ways I can keep my sanity? I’d love to hear in the comments.