Be happy and welcome in the new year with your learners.
My timeline is full of teachers who are anxious about returning to work on Monday. There has been a flurry of planning, marking and general knot-tying of stomachs about the demands and responsibilities that may face us in the New Year. I sympathise, but my concern is with my own learners. Often after a long holiday, behaviour and motivation can diminish and students can feel disaffected (not too far off mirroring the feelings of some staff who dread rather than relish the challenge of a new term). For many children, it is school and not home that provides the clear boundaries and routine in their lives, and a long period of absence from a structured environment, with caring adults can be harmful. Returning to school can be for many, traumatic and even bring to the front feelings of shame in a culture that celebrates material consumption, something that many children can not revel in due to the economic conditions at home. I want to welcome in the New Year with my learners creating a feeling of genuine feeling of belonging for students, where they can achieve in a positive climate that celebrates their individual successes, be them academic or not.