It's been a few weeks since my last post; this brings us to the long-awaited Thanksgiving break. Finally! At 2:20 PM tomorrow, you may need to cover your ears from the deafening cheer of teachers celebrating at my school.
As all school breaks do, this one comes at the perfect time. Just when you think you can't hear "what are we supposed to do?" or "why are we doing this?" or "I can't find my ______" one more time, the break arrives.
In both sides of my job - teacher and administrator - I have noticed student behaviors ramping up a notch. The behaviors, complaints, and meltdowns always get worse before a break. There are students for whom school is a safe place with routines and regulations, a regular meal, and people who care about them - even though these students can sometimes show us their worst behaviors. Maybe school is the best place in their lives. Maybe home is scary, or uncertain, or chaotic.
So, for this Thanksgiving, I wish every teacher and administrator time to enjoy their families and other loved ones; time to rest and rejuvenate - and to get ready for the stretch until the holiday break (because it will be a crazy, nonstop blur!) Take time to do things for yourself, whether that is a manicure, a hike, or a lunch with a friend. Take naps! I will, for sure. We need these breaks to help us keep going. We need genuine down time, and real self-care. I will be practicing getting better at that myself, and at the same time giving thanks for all I am so lucky to have.
On a curricular note, at this time of year, I always teach my students about the first Thanksgiving, including Thanksgiving myths and what Thanksgiving may mean to North America's indigenous peoples. It is important to keep in mind that this is not recognized as a happy time for many, especially for the first Americans. Here are a couple of resources to check out: