Setting the Tone in Your Classroom

+ show tags
Teaching Strategies:

We’re all familiar with the “Sunday Scaries”. Coming back to school after a long weekend or holiday break can create anxiety. The best way to ward off this negative energy is to feel prepared. Let’s make returning to the classroom much less scary and much more fun.

Reestablish Routines

Routines and habits are key to creating a comfortable and well-functioning school day. Hosting a daily or weekly meeting with your class is a great way to check in, discuss procedures, and reinforce routines. Don’t be afraid to try a new idea. If it doesn’t work, just change it! Involving your class in creating new routines is a great way to gather new ideas and create a sense of community among your students. 

Allow for Time to Share

Many of the kids come in bursting at the seams wanting to share about their break. Building a short and quick sharing activity on the first day back is a nice way to channel this energy in an organized and creative way. It’s important to remember that for some students, school is their safe place, and they may not have much to share, so be sure to model that they may share something as simple as a movie they watched or a book they read. Try lining the students up in two rows facing one another, giving them 15 seconds to share. One line steps to the right, the extra student at the end will run to the other end, and the students get to share with a new classmate each round. This allows the kids to chat with one another and helps to release some of the extra energy they may come in with.

Ease Into Things

There’s often a feeling of pressure to jump right back into the curriculum. But, try to take the first day or two and incorporate a few extra movement breaks, and even some hands-on crafts into your plans. Remember that your students have probably been at home, possibly on screens, for the better part of the break. Jumping directly into full-fledged, all-day, curriculum-heavy work will only lead to lost time due to the need to reteach those concepts. A few days to acclimate goes a long way.

Don’t forget, a positive outlook goes a long way. Many teachers are struggling right now. This job is hard, but you are doing great and your students love you. If you go into the new year with a positive mindset, the kids will feel it and be more positive too!

About the author

Nora Brown


About Nora

Nora Brown (M.Ed.) is a certified K-6 teacher in Connecticut, where she has been teaching 3rd grade since 2010. She holds a Master's in Education, is a mom of 2, and believes… Read more

loading gif