What to do Wednesday: Simply Unmotivated

Dear Lesson Plan Toolbox,

I have just been loving this Christmas vacation so much that I truly don't know if I can go back to school. I have loved being home with my kids, watching movies, and we even have been working on family STEM activities. The thought of going back to parent emails, student behaviors, lesson planning, and teaching in-person and virtual at the same time truly does not make my heart happy. Is this normal? Does this mean that it Is time for me to start thinking about leaving the classroom? Am I a bad teacher because I am having these thoughts and feelings?

What should I do?

Simply Unmotivated

Dear Simply Unmotivated,

I truly wish I could wave a magic wand and make this school year disappear. You are 100% not a bad teacher for having these thoughts and feelings. This year has been anything but normal and for some reason many administrators and families want to treat it as such. 

I had several years in the classroom where I had these same feelings, but I realized it wasn't just me experiencing the post-holiday blues, many others around me were too. It is wonderful that you have had this time to spend with your family and made so many memories, but life needs to go on too. You have to decide if it is the holiday blues that are giving you these feelings or are you truly that unhappy with your career. If it is the latter, then you need to have a very serious sit-down time to weigh the pros and cons of you coming out of the classroom. I would definitely keep in mind your contract because they are not easy to break and often costly. Plus, I can tell you are a great teacher! Your talents would be missed immensely if you were no longer in the classroom.

One helpful suggestion I will offer that worked for me when the holiday blues fell upon me, was to have a "Happy New Year" themed day with your students. Celebrate this new year together while focusing on goals for this second half of the school year. Perhaps create centers with your own children that you think your students might also enjoy. Just be sure to keep in mind that some of your students are virtual so you may need to have digital options with what you plan. In fact, if you pay attention to this coming Sunday's Teacher Feature, I am going to offer some fun suggestions for what to do upon returning to school. Stay tuned!

I encourage you to enjoy this time with your family. If you are still having serious anxiety about returning to the classroom, then you need to decide what will work for you. It could be as simple as asking your administrator if you can teach virtually some days. Please be sure to reach out to us if you have any other worries (@lessonplantoolbox). We want to help you and serve you by building your Lesson Plan Toolbox.

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