As we begin our holiday season here at Teach Preschool, we are reminded of the many ways our lives can feel stressful. We’ve compiled a list of ten ways to reduce your classroom stress during this holiday season…
1. Plan ahead: Almost all teachers will have their students create some sort of gift for parents. Determine what supplies you will need for your gift, wrapping, and cards. Purchase your supplies well in advance to avoid the hassle of running from craft store to craft store at the last minute.
2. Set your sights at preschool level: If all of the beautiful blogs and Pinterest posts give you inspiration to create new activities and crafts for your classroom, then look all you want. If, however, you start to feel overwhelmed or inadequate in any way, then walk away and use the resources and ideas you already have. Remember, most of the beautiful and flawless ideas you see online are made by grown-ups and not by a large group of preschoolers.
3. Keep it fun and simple: If you are making gifts, let it be fun and don’t choose something so complex that you end up doing all the work. Keep it simple and child-made!
4. Give yourself the gift of time: Once you are ready to tackle the gift creating process, take it one day at a time. If your gift involves paint or glue, be sure to give it a day or two to dry before you do your wrapping. There is no need to make gifts, cards, and wrapping paper all in one day. Spread it out throughout the week and be sure to make arrangements for children who will inevitably be absent during this time.
5. Put classroom issues on the back burner, at least temporarily: Having trouble getting your children to share or clean up? Are you struggling to get your children’s attention during circle time? Don’t sweat it! As long as the children are safe in your care, small issues can wait until the holidays are passed. Think of the New Year as a fresh start for everyone.
6. Plan for fun: This time of the year can feel chaotic, with the children being a bit more ramped up than usual. Continue to maintain your regular classroom routine and schedule, while adding in fun holiday themed elements through center play and circle times. If you are planning a special day with a party or completely different routine, try to schedule it for the last day before break.
7. Don’t let the holidays get you down: If you aren’t able to celebrate the holidays in your classroom, there are plenty of other ways to explore the season without it being holiday oriented. Winter is a wonderful time to explore snow and ice, hibernation, winter animals, and even baking. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, challenge yourself to make the best out of what you CAN do.
8. Don’t be a slave to tradition: Don’t feel as though you have to do everything that you or your fellow teachers have always done in the past. If time or money is an issue, then give yourself a break. The children will never know otherwise.
9. Get outdoors as much as possible: With all the excitement of the holidays, young children need to be able to go outside and run! It may be cold but time spent outside enjoying the fresh air every day will help everyone feel happier. It will also help curtail a little bit of the classroom rambunctiousness that comes along with the holidays.
10. Take care of yourself: Holidays in the classroom are fun! It is often the shopping, wrapping, and baking outside the classroom that can be stressful. Take time to relax. Schedule a time for you to get your hair or nails done or to have coffee with a friend. After all, you can’t be your best in the classroom if you aren’t taking good care of yourself.
Now it’s your turn…
Do you have any other tips for reducing classroom stress that you can share? Leave us your tips in the comments below!
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