Before diving back into teaching tomorrow, remember that the weeks leading up to a holiday break often bring out the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The good is evidenced in the overall holiday mood, gift-giving generosity, programs and celebrations.  However, these same factors can also contribute to escalating the bad and the ugly when it comes to student behaviors. 

We all thrive on routine; herein lies the problem.  During holiday seasons, there are numerous interruptions to our daily rituals, which makes adhering to consistent schedules difficult.  And continuous change often brings out students’ erratic behaviors.  Accordingly, we need to find ways to balance the behavioral scales and usher in calm.

When we feel an internal loss of control, we look for an external source of comfort.  Teachers, you are that source. Your words, emotional state, and attitude have a huge impact on how students handle the changes and novelty evident at this time of year.  So, practice being the calm eye in the hurricane of your classroom.

Moving into the month of December many individuals focus on the giving of tangible presents.  My recommendation is that instead you concentrate on giving students your calm and focused presence.  I feel certain this gift will positively impact their behaviors making the weeks leading up to the next holiday break exponentially more pleasant for all involved.