‘Twas the Days before Vacation…

It is easy this time of year to skate through the weeks leading to vacation, thinking that the days are wasted. True, the days are filled with interruptionGift-Box-3s, holiday program rehearsals, and students with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, but I do believe that deep learning can occur. Often, teachers pull out word searches with stockings and menorahs to fill the fractured time and call it a wash till the new year. Instead, I wonder what would happen if a highly generative topic was introduced or a totally new approach to a familiar subject entered the classroom. Children respond to engaging topics or novel approaches – regardless of the time of year. When I was a classroom teacher, I would introduce a juicy debate right before the final days of school. Students knee deep in research littered the library and collaboration with peers to present their winning arguments took precedence. Having guest judges listen and critique their presentations intensified the efforts of team members. The debate served as icing on the cake. The final days of school were not wasted, and instead, were chocked full of meaningful and interesting work. Providing meaningful moments like this in the midst of upside down schedules are gifts to our students and to the educators who use ingenuity and devotion to reach our children in our care.

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2 thoughts on “‘Twas the Days before Vacation…

  1. I love this post. It reminds me of the first principal I ever had in Washington, DC. Many teachers would often kill the last few days before a vacation with movies that had NOTHING to do with education. He called a meeting and simply stated, “Showing movies is embarrassing to me and the school. You are being paid to teach. If you are showing movies, then you are a cop out.” I will never forget that lesson and the many others that he taught me in my infancy as an educator. Thanks for sharing the same vision.

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