I am not excited that Winter Break will be over for me in 5 days. I started the break doing an hour of work, each day so I could get ahead of things, after the third day I was like I can do it later.
I have to report back to my teaching job on Monday, and I have lots of work to complete before the students and staff walk back into my classroom from IEP Progress Notes to writing lesson plans and planning for school wide jobs for my students.
Yesterday, I woke up and decided that I would tackle the paperwork that I brought home with me, but first I wanted to really make sure that I was focusing on the 5 most important tasks. For me those tasks, were making breakfast, doing laundry, doing the dishes, replying to emails from teachers and parents, and having a cup of coffee.
I am not sure about you, but I cannot start my day without a cup of coffee.
While I was having my cup of coffee, I also began to make my breakfast and sort the dirt laundry which was all over the house. By focusing on those five things this morning, I was able to finish the majority of those tasks before the sun came up. I was able to drink a second cup of coffee while the laundry was washing and listen to some Jazz and watch the snow fall.
I know that this is not a typical morning.
As educators and parents we have a tendency to rush from one thing to another, especially when school is in session and when we are trying to get everyone out the door and on the bus and in the car, so we will not be late.
As we begin to prepare to go back to school on either January 6 or 7, the following are 4 tips to get back into the routine to have a smooth first week back.
Take inventory of your child’s school supplies. Do they need refills on paper or pencils? Is their binder exploding with old papers and pages of doodles? Does their backpack have crums on the bottom from snacks? Help them return to school with pencils sharpened and their notebook organized. Their teacher will thank you! I know I will.
Read with your child, to get them back into the routine of school. I know for my students I included a social story for parents to read to them, so they will become adjusted to going back to school after a two-week break.
As parents get back into the habit of scanning the notes that come home from school. You and your child can also write a note to the teacher, about all the exciting things that happened over the break.
You may have had an IEP Meeting just before the holiday season, or you have one coming up. Take a moment this week to check in with the teacher about your child’s progress, especially if you have concerns.
Take a moment to also sign up for your IEP consultation with me, so we can discuss your top 3 concerns for your child. It is still early enough in the year to work on behavior or skills that are holding your child back from reaching their full potential in his current grade.
If you are confident your child is cruising along quite nicely, a quick email to ask his teacher if there is anything you need to know or can do at home will help keep the lines of communication open.Download my free IEP checklist, so if any issues do come up, you have a nifty cheat sheet to help you get your concerns addressed.
It will also start the second semester off in the right direction.
Before your child goes back to school, begin by getting them back into a routine of school again and setting those boundaries. Go back on following a schedule, setting things out the night before and packing healthy snacks for them.
Even as a teacher, have a routine and a schedule is very important. As a child, my mom always told me to set my clothes out the day before, because it will save me time in the morning. I still do that today.
Having a routine is so important, because everyone in your home has to be saying the same thing so consistency can take place.
With returning back to school comes the paper clutter again, which can become overwhelming. Clear off that designate spot in your home that you have for homework, permission slips, and any other school-related papers. This can help eliminate all of that paper clutter and make your life less stressful.
Look at your calendar, and decide when is the best time to sit down over coffee either virtually or face to face to look over your students current goals and make a plan to help your transition to the next grade level if they are reaching their goals.
If they are not reaching them, set up a time to complete an action plan to give to your team, so they are informed on what steps you would like to see happen for your child’s continued success.
P.S. I’m only one person and I have limited time on my calendar. Once the consults times are filled… that’s it. I can’t magically make more time. (I wish I could so I could help everyone!) I highly suggest that you grab your consult now and figure out when to use it later. DEADLINE to reserve time is January 31st, but remember, you can use your consult anytime between now and May 31st!