We’re almost there…

It’s the third week of December. Most schools are either on or will be on Winter Break by the end of the week. The last few days before a well-deserved 2-week respite are absolute chaos- food baskets for the less fortunate, sing-a-longs, decorating activities, and multiple festive breakfasts are the order of the day.

Having made it the unofficial mid-point of the school year should be celebrated by educators. We’ve made it through Back to School,  Meet the Creature (Teacher) Night, Halloween, Remembrance Day, Parent/Teacher Interviews and Thanksgiving.  We’ve made it through the grading, the planning, the organizing of Fall field trips, chaperoning Fall dances, pep rallies, and student photo day. We’ve made it through staff meetings, department meetings, staff council meetings, governing board meetings, teacher advisory meetings,  steering committee meetings and countless student mentoring meetings. Suffice it to say, we’ve done a helluva lot over the last 3 months!

Teachers, please take a moment from wrangling your students this week who are too hawked up on sugar from holiday treats to admire and enjoy the holiday season. While many of us are just as eager to race out the door by noon on Friday to start our own family celebrations, remember that, for many of the children you teach, you are the only family they’ve got. For these students, an extra smile, hug, or funny joke may be the best gifts they’ll receive this holiday season. In fact, it’s probably because of you that your students feel comfortable enough to celebrate the only way they know how – like kids at Christmas.

Parents – for some of you, the holidays are an exciting time to make memories with friends and family, while for others, it represents 2 weeks before you send children back to school. For those of you who fall into the latter group, please remember this: teachers need the Winter. Break as much as your children do. The “academic hump” that Winter Break symbolizes allows children to disconnect from the routine of school and enjoy time with loved ones and participate in activities that only come around once a year. Teachers, for their part, have worked tirelessly investing their time, sanity, and souls to educate and nurture your children, often at the expense of their relationship with their own families.  So if you do happen to run into a teacher sometime between now and the start of school next January, please make sure to say “hi”, but also make sure to say “thank you”.

Happy Holidays – all the best for a healthy, productive and prosperous 2017!

‘Til the next post.