Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas break taught me a lot!

Wheww!! I made it to Christmas break! I won't say it didn't have its difficulties, but I have had SO much fun being a first grade teacher this year! It is the most challenging thing I have ever done! It is also the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I could be doing. I feel blessed that I have a career that I am passionate about. I mean really, who else gets to play games, look crazy doing Kidz Bop dances, Kids Zumba, and learn from the most interesting firsties in the world?

Tomorrow, the kiddoes return from break, and I couldn't be more excited to see each and every one of them! I have missed them so much!! I agree that we all needed the break, but its time to get back to work now!

The most important things I realized during Christmas break….

  • Let yourself rest! This was the most difficult for me. I felt so guilty that I was sleeping in almost every day (I'm talking close to noon), but I really needed it. I feel so much more ready to get back to work after having this time to rest, relax, and clean some house.
  • Prepare yourself to go back… I took the time over the break to knock out the things that usually take up the most time and cause me a lot of stress. I love doing centers in my classroom, but its difficult to prep all of that and have the copies that go with them! Over Christmas break I have made, laminated, cut, and copies 40 centers! I am still in shock that I go that many done! I try to do about 5 a week in my classroom so hopefully I am covered until Spring Break! YAY!! I also gathered everything I needed to make copies of and organized it. I kept a folder just for things I wanted to copy. Having one copier for the whole school is stressful! So I got up extra early, and got to school to start a super productive work day. I now have all of my copies for a month. Knowing myself I will want to add a few things here and there, but for the most part I DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE COPIER! YAYYYYY!!!
  • Spend time with your family. During the race of the school week, there really doesn't seem to be time to actually spend quality time with your family. Movie days over this break have been some of the most meaningful and well spend times! Your family needs you, and they really want to spend time with you without stretching you to the limit.
  • ORGANIZE! This has been the thing that I cannot get off my mind. I try to be an organized person, but in the rush of things everything gets jumbled! Since I have spent time making everything ahead of time, and taking the plunge to make copies so far in advance I had to find a way to keep them all organized. I have milk crates in my classroom to try to organize games, but I never thought to organize papers with them! I got hanging file folders and regular file folders to organize everything. As of right now there 6 hanging folders in there, 5 are for the future 5 weeks, and one is for papers to add to my writing center. Each week has its own hanging folder with 5 file folders in it, one for each day of the week. I put all of the copies I need for each day in the file folder with a few extra activities to pull each week. The extras I put in the very back of the folder. I am so excited to finally organize all of my copies in one central place that I won't lose every time I turn around. 
I was ready for Christmas break, but I am even more ready to have my firsties back! I am ready, and will stay organized this time!

Keep On Teachin'

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