The beginning of the year is obviously a great time for fresh starts in all areas. With regards to teaching, I find that a break of two weeks does wonders to clear the mind and soul (not to over exaggerate or anything) from any built up negativity, grouchiness or even lackadaisical behaviour on the part of the teacher once the holiday countdown begins.
Coming back to school rested and refreshed allows me to regain a more centered sense of objectivity and balance. I always take this opportunity to switch up the seating plan, reorganize the classroom layout and generally try to freshen up the environment. In addition, I also use this window of opportunity when students come back with hopefully some of the same mindset to resolve any lingering and ongoing issues around behaviour, attitude or work ethic. I find that approaching them at this point, right at after the break, allows for a frank and productive conversation without the build up of aggravation, tiredness and downright animosity on the part of both parties.
In other words, now is a great time to reinvent or tackle anything that had previously been unsettling you before the onslaught of marking, report cards, form collecting, winter activity days, committee meetings, extra-curricular activities…brace yourselves!