We are quickly approaching the final days of instruction for many before schools close for holiday breaks. A lot of teachers and students are looking forward to a couple weeks of rest, relaxation and some physically distanced fun. However, breaks from school for some students bring stress. This is because when school is not in session students lack opportunities to interact with caring adults and peers, and have little or no consistency to help structure their days. This is difficult, especially for traumatized children who thrive when they experience predictability and connection. So, let’s set everyone up for success!
For those teachers and students who enjoy breaks – relish in every moment!
- Get outside on sunny and warm(er) days
- Connect with family and friends outside or virtually
- Take a nap
- Read a book
- Catch up on movies and shows
For those who need consistency and connection, educators might try one of two of the following strategies
- Schedule email messages to be sent a few times over break to students who benefit from interactions
- Invite students to a “challenge” where they write down one thing every day that made them feel happy – tell them you will check in with them after the break for a full report.
- Take some time in class this week to create a sample “holiday break” schedule for students where they identify two or three things they will do each day (e.g., play outside, read for 15 minutes, connect with a friend).
- Remind them that even when you do not see them in class or virtually, you are thinking about them and will excited to see them when you both return from the break.