So, I’ve decided that’s my new motto for the last week before any holiday break! “Meltdowns, Movies and Munchies” Today there were some moments of joy but it kind of felt like a full day meltdown.
It’s just so hard to keep the schedule normal-which is what many of my students need-on the week before break. Now, I love all those Christmas parties. I love those Christmas themed Language Arts and Math lessons that you can find on TeachersPayTeachers (or all those ones that you used to create on your own in the olden days:). These changes in schedule and routines, however, wreak havoc on my students who thrive on structure. I’m sure I’ll get to teach a lot of flexibility lessons this week. I usually plan calm activities in my room so that if students need a break from all the concerts and cookie baking and ornament making, they can come have some down time in my room. Today we joked and said “let’s just watch movies and eat popcorn all week!” So, there came my motto: Meltdowns, Movies and Munchies (and maybe the teachers will even let the kids come join us!:)
But, let’s get back to that moment of joy! I am so thankful for the teaching assistants that work with me. Today, as I watched one of them, I realized that many days, my joy comes from seeing her interact with the students. She knows how to push them to be the very best they can be, but she is also flexible and patient and knows when to just stop and laugh about the situation. Today, I was mentally exhausted at 1:00, and yet when I watched her interact with students, she was able to smile and keep listening and encouraging them. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t finished her Christmas shopping or that she had a million things going on at home, she left all that at home and engaged with her students in the moment.
So, my prayer for this week is that I can portray peace in moments of chaos, and that I can purposefully engage with my students in the moment. Then, maybe I won’t need as many movies or munchies to calm those meltdowns:).