Going back to school after the holidays can be difficult for most students; after a few weeks of relaxing, eating, and drinking, the prospect of diving back into the routine of studying can be hard to take. As a teacher, it’s important to find ways to motivate your students after their break, whether by setting short term goals, by starting the term with exciting material, or by giving out small tasks that use new media. At the same time, it’s crucial to keep students active again.
Set Short Term Goals
It can be necessary to ease students back into work, depending on how long they’ve been away for; try to set up short term goals and rewards for students, which might involve organising a school trip at the end of January or February. In the first week back, explain what you’ll be looking at, as a class, for the next month or so, and set goals that you expect to be completed. Spend the first few days getting back to speed with whatever you were looking at before Christmas, and giving feedback on any work submitted prior to the break.
Find Exciting Material
Get students engaged with the new term by varying the learning resources that you use in class; this might mean playing online videos that introduce a new subject. You may also want to lead students towards mini quizzes and websites that can complement their learning, while also providing new reading materials and hand outs to set up a new module.
Another way to get students motivated for the New Year is to assign small tasks that can be completed at home. Students may discuss their Christmas experiences, as well as what they expect to be doing in the year ahead.
To clear out the cobwebs after Christmas, try to develop class projects that will get students working together and discussing different topics. Start the new term by using open questions and topical news stories to get students thinking about some of the broader issues involved in subjects. Again, think about using new media to get students to start producing their own content.