Saturday, December 26

3 Things Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Say Yes to in the New Year

 

I think we can all agree that this year has been rough. Actually, this year has been an insane roller coaster ride of emotions and increased workloads. However, the year is finally almost over, hallelujah, and a new year is on the horizon. How can we make sure that next year is better than this one was? No, how can we make sure it is our best year yet? Well teacher friends the answer is simple, we need to start saying yes. Yes? Yes! Let’s say yes to self-care and boundaries. Let’s say yes to taking care of ourselves. Read more below about my top three things that teachers need to say yes to in the New Year.

Say Yes to Self-Care

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Self-care is so important! You can’t help anyone else if you cannot first help yourself. We all know that, why else do they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first on airplanes? So, my question is, if we know self-care is so critical, why do we push it off? I don’t have time. I don’t need to. The excuses go on and on. Stop powering through, stop putting so much extra pressure on yourself. We have a million and one things we are required to do as teachers. Why add extra stress of getting papers graded like lightning, or having lessons planned a month in advance? Start removing unnecessary stress and allow yourself time to breathe, rest, and recover.  Make this year  the first year you truly adopt a self-care is alright mindset.

 

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Say Yes to Boundaries

Did you know that is ok to say no? Honestly, it is not only ok but it is necessary. You are not a bad teacher if you do not take school work home each night. You are not a bad teacher if you do not work weekends. You are not a bad teacher if you stop answering parent emails at 6:00 PM every night. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO IT ALL, ALL OF THE TIME. In most other occupations, when you leave work for the day, you leave your work behind with you. Teachers everywhere put in an overwhelming about of unpaid after work hours just to try and stay afloat and feel like we are doing the best we can. Please listen to me; you are doing an amazing job. You don’t need to make your work all that you ever do. Set boundaries for yourself so that you can have a work home life balance. You need designated time to close your plan book, turn off your computer, and live your life.

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Say Yes to a Work/ Home-life Balance

I love memes. There is one meme that always hits me a little too close to home. It is a picture of a teacher with countless hats on her head, each one labeled with a different responsibility she bares. From parent communication expert to epic lesson creator, we teachers juggle it all. It’s no wonder most teachers have a horrible work/ home life balance. Well, it’s time we start taking back our weekends friends. Take a few of those hats, those extra responsibilities, off of your plate. Ask for help. Don’t spend countless hours at night scrolling Pinterest for the perfect lesson. Stop researching classroom management techniques on your weekends so you can survive your workweek. Ask for help. Find engaging supplemental resources, lesson plans, and more, and put it in your budget for next year. Request a professional development course for techniques and strategies you want to be more knowledgeable in.

So friends, let’s make this year the year of yes. We can and we will make the New Year a stellar one!


Looking for more tips to make the New Year YOUR best year EVER? Click the DOWNLOAD button below to download my Elementary Teacher’s Guide to Your Best Year Ever Workbook now!








 

Thursday, December 17

December Activities for the Elementary Classroom

 

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Gingerbread Project Based Learning

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I love project based learning! It is such a fun way to do interdisciplinary teaching and engage my students in deep thinking. Two years ago I started doing a gingerbread house project based learning unit and it has been a keeper ever since! My students love designing, budgeting, and building their own gingerbread homes. I like to add in a bonus at the end and let my students build and eat gingerbread houses (made out of graham crackers). Oh, what fun! Click HERE to explore this resource.

 


Roll & Write Winter Multiplication Game

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No matter what time of year it is, math fact practice is crucial. My students loved practicing their fact fluency with my fall themed roll & write math game, so I made a winter themed game. It is so easy to differentiate for my students and their math fact mastery. Just print the desired game board (times tables 1-12) and you’re ready to play! No prep equals a happy teacher. Click HERE to explore this resource.

 

Digital December Writing Prompts

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Easy, breezy, done! This time of year is always hectic. I love having resources that are easy, engaging, and no prep! My kiddos enjoy these fun December themed writing prompts and I love how easy they to assign in Google Classroom. I can also print these writing responses to quickly pair with a winter craftivity. Click HERE to explore this resource.

 

December Spelling Activities 

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I am all about festive classroom fun and spelling practice is no exception. I created these December spelling activities to help bring some extra holiday cheer and word work practice. My kiddos love the Christmas themed activities and I love that they are editable for any spelling list. Easy differentiation and holiday fun, what could be better? Click HERE to explore this resource.

FREE Holiday “All About Me” Graphic Organizer

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Need a last minute holiday activity? I’ve got you covered! This FREE resource is a no prep way for students to share their holiday favorites. Click HERE to get this resource now.