I hope you have had a wonderful, relaxing and healthy holiday.
So much has happened in a month, most notably, and sadly, the tragedy at Sandy Hook. I have no words to express my sadness. I can't imagine the heartache of the families, teachers, and the community at large. They are all in my thoughts. May it never happen again.
We all know, as difficult as it is, we must move forward.
Returning from the holiday break you've probably noticed that your students' behavior, and performance, has taken a few steps backwards. This is a phenomenon, which I call the "2 Step," 2 steps forward, 1 step backward. Now it is your turn to dance and you must take the lead.
Begin by reviewing the expectations with the students, hopefully these are posted in the classroom. It is important for you, as the teacher, to be firm, clear and consistent. This applies to behaviors, as well as performance. Maintain your standards and expectations, especially on those days when it may feel like it is the first day of school.
Here is the toughest part--have patience and no blaming, especially that of the students. They are doing what comes naturally--proving the teacher will not notice. Don't blame yourself either.
Heads-up--the "2 Step" is common and will happen again after the next semester break--be prepared.
Please share this blog with colleagues and friends. Also, take a look at my book on effective strategies on Amazon.com.