The New Year is a great time for a fresh start! While you’re putting away the Christmas decorations and making your personal goals to hit the gym more often in the New Year, don’t forget to also think through your classroom goals. Winter break can be like a time machine that transports students back to a time before routines were established. If you want smooth sailing from January through the end of the year, take some time to reset expectations for classroom management! Here are three classroom management tips for the New Year:
Make time to catch up with your students
There will be so much to do when you get back from break, but avoid the temptation to dive right back into the grind. Take a little time during the morning of your first day back together to catch up with your students and hear about their breaks. They will have SO much to tell you! During our morning meeting on the first day back from break, I usually always have a circle share time where each student gets the chance to share something they did over break. You can also have them write about their break for morning work or have them share 3 things they did with a partner. Make relationships a priority first and then jump back into the schedule!
Model and review expectations
Take the time to model and review your expectations for classroom behaviors and routines. Trust me it’s a long haul from January to June if you don’t take the time to do this. Set the bar high and you’ll be thanking yourself in February that you took the time. After modeling and reviewing the expectations you will also probably need to practice them. January is also a good time to adjust anything that wasn’t working well before break. Don’t change everything, but having a fresh start can be a gift!
When you set your expectations, hold your students accountable to them. Mean what you say and don’t give idle threats. After break, students will often try testing the waters again to see how much they can get away with. Students need boundaries and flourish when they have rules and expectations that are given and enforced in love.