The new school year
We all just spent the holidays celebrating the coming of a new year: who will we be and how will we better ourselves? Even though we're returning to the same classroom with the same people, there's no denying that it still feels new.
Personally, I LOVE new beginnings! I look forward to every morning, every Monday, and every first day of the month because with a new beginning comes the opportunity to reinvent one's self and to start fresh. This means as teachers, we can reevaluate the expectations we have for specific students, activities, and materials.
When it comes to lesson planning, I try and take a step back in the New Year, and to go back to the basics.
If we talked about our surroundings, the city of San Francisco, on the first week of school in the fall, we'll talk about it again in the New Year. Not only does this bring a cohesion to the school year by tapping into a sort-of meta routine, but the students who have been with you for half a year already will be coming to the same activities with a new perspective.
You see, even though they're the same kids, a lot about them is new. A lot can happen in two weeks, especially when you're two years old!
The child who cried every day at drop off may suddenly show a newfound confidence in his time in the classroom, the girl who didn't talk in class may be super into dancing after having seen beauty and the beast for the first time over break, and the children who you thought would never move out of parallel play are suddenly playing house!
To my fellow teachers: take a deep breath, scale it back, and start fresh in the New Year!
Happy New Year,