Often this time of year staff morale is low and frustration is high. It’s cold and snowy outside and teachers go to school and come home in the dark. Paperwork is piling high. Students are misbehaving, restless and tired of studying. Budget cuts are affecting everyone.
But after the story of a Milwaukee teacher who cut off her student’s braid, many parents and MPS officials are extra concerned about the level of stress in the classroom. It’s becoming an unhealthy environment and in many places, not much learning is taking place because of it.
Teachers-do some stress relieving activities with students before winter break to end school on a positive vibe. It’s been proven that students score better on tests after taking a walk. Exercise in the classroom. Limit the candy. Help students take care of their physical health, and don’t forget to do the same for yourself.
Increase feel-good energy by engaging in random acts of kindness. Sometimes children are only the recipients of “gifts” and never learn how to help others. If it’s too late for field trips to the food pantry or senior home, have students make something they can give to them after the holidays.
Don’t forget that expectations around Christmas are high and often not going to happen, so try to focus on the meaning of the holidays and not on the Wii or other presents.
Lastly, make the classroom a warm, happy place for co-workers by keeping a positive attitude. Limit the complaining , everything will work out in time. Don ‘t stress about gift giving, it’s the thought that counts. A jolly, merry staff makes for a pleasurable learning atmosphere.