For some, this is a time of celebration, joy, and giving. For others, the season brings about worry, concern, and unmanageable stress.
Regardless of where you find yourself along this spectrum of feelings and emotions, research proves the next 4 weeks to be a time when families and/or individuals are consumed with demands (good, bad, and indifferent) that result in a high degree of stress. Most would agree they experience stress on a daily basis but combined with the holiday season, stress levels soar. It may be stress related to the schedules we will attempt to keep (family events, concerts, parties, etc.), the financial burdens (gift giving), or lack of personal well-being (healthy eating and exercise).
As we approach this magical time of year, I would ask you to be mindful of what our students may be experiencing. We will be challenged with the task of managing a plethora of emotions within our classrooms. Therefore, I wonder, how can we help our students see/view the month of December as an opportunity to be kind, be empathetic, and to practice gratitude? In my opinion, it begins with the personal model we provide for our students as well as the opportunities for teaching. Teaching possibilities which may include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
- 25 Days of Kindness – recognizing and displaying random acts of kindness in and out of the classroom
- engage in a volunteer opportunity as a classroom community
- start your day with ‘Tabletop Twitter’ – #WhatI’mGratefulFor
- acknowledge and let go of the MOD’s – “Mistakes of the Day”
- read and explore a piece of literature with a strong message about ‘giving’
In the end, I would ask you to take care of yourselves and be the example you wish to see in our students. Take time each day to reflect upon all you have to be grateful for and know, no matter what happens, you have the love and support of the people around you and ALL WILL BE WELL!