Before you walk out your classroom door for a well-deserved winter break, spend a few extra minutes preparing for the new semester that will be here sooner than you think. By taking care of some of these before break, it’ll be a much more welcoming room when you return.
- After the students are gone from the building, tidy your room. (I know – I sound like a parent, don’t I?) Collect stray papers and materials. Get your students’ texts and other resources neatly stacked under their desks on on a book shelf or wherever is appropriate.
- Now clean up your desk. File any extra papers. Make your work area as uncluttered as possible.
- Now – pull out a few resources you’ll need to start the next semester (textbooks, handouts, etc.).
- Make a list of tasks to do once you return from break – no matter how minute they may seem, so you’ll be more prepared when you return.
- Want to try a different room arrangement? Need to streamline the students’ path to some materials? Now is a good time to experiment.
- Take a few minutes to write a brief note or two or verbally thank some people for their support during your first semester. A librarian who signed you up for the computer lab when you forgot? A custodian who cleaned up that spilled coffee for you without even grumbling? An office person who chose not to scold you when you messed up your third purchase order form? (OK–that one is based on personal experience…I’m not sure I EVER filled out a purchase order correctly during my entire teaching career.) Be sure to let them know you appreciate their help.
- Before you close that classroom door and lock up for several days, take one more glance around your room. You’ve made it through the semester! Congrats!
- Now…walk out that door, lock it, and enjoy a rejuvenating break taking care of yourself, spending time with family and friends, and (hopefully!) not grading a single assignment!