So we’re back at it, educators! The snow has lost its luster, the Figgie pudding is back in the freezer for next year, the gift wrap paper is stored away again, and the gifts have been return – yes, we are now getting back into work mode.
I sit and look through my window, just before planning for my dreaded return to work and a new grading period, “What do I teach?” “Where did we leave off?” “Did I return all me emails?” “What New Year Resolutions can I come up with for me and my students?” “what new year class activities can I use?”
So many questions, so little time left in my holiday break.
With that said, during this new year return to work, I think of the things I need my students to know, along with the content I’m supposed to cover. We only have a short time left (with testing and events) that we interact with our students.
This time of year is weird, as I teach seniors of different levels and one sophomore class. I know I have to cover the timeline of literature like the Romantics and Victorians all the way through Modernism, but I also have to cover a whole lot of real-life tasks like writing college essays, writing research papers, completing applications, writing and sending letters (including emails), getting students to remember how to write journals, etc.
So I start the year off with students revisiting their goal-setting that they did in the beginning of the year, and we work towards students completing these goals. We revisit what success looks like and how they can make sure that for the rest of the year and beyond, they are successful.
As my students work through these soft skills, we work on some content and some real-life tasks that enable them to survive beyond high school. As I mentioned before, I teach Seniors (for the most part), and high school will end real soon.
Here are some of the things I use with my students at the beginning of their new year:
I mix and match and get students to feel like they have something to do (because they do), but it also gives them a fun way to share their academics with their excitement for the last part of the year.
Try some of these out and let me know.
What do you do in the beginning of a new calendar year with your students?