I don’t know about you, but it is my perception things get a little lax at work in the days leading up to winter break. Perhaps its the fact that testing is wrapping up, that winter concerts, programs and parties are taking place, or that many simply have a whole lot going in their personal lives.
As an educator, I’ve worked a second (or third) job for the vast majority of my career. One of those jobs was for Eddie Bauer. It was before internet orders became popular, and the holiday season was extremely busy. I remember spending countless hours behind a cash register, folding clothes, or assisting customers. The focus was on making sure the customers had everything they needed. Needless to say, the store was an absolute wreck by the time New Years came around.
Right after the new year, a message would come down from corporate reminding staff members it was time to “Snap Back to Standards”. It was time to make sure items were neatly folded, the stock room was organized, floors and fixtures were free of dust, and displays were arranged according to the schematic provided to us. Though it took some work to get there, it was always a good feeling to have the store back to normal. We could then shift focus to driving the brand we were expected to sell.
What Will Snapping Back to Standards Look Like for You?
With the return from winter break fast approaching, it’s time to think about what we need to do in order to snap back to standards to ensure we are best serving our students. Are lessons engaging, relevant, and standards-driven? Are materials on hand and ready to go? How does your classroom or office look? Did you leave in haste that last day before vacation and need to arrive a little early to put things back together? How about your classroom expectations? Remember, a couple of weeks of time off to students may as well be a couple of months. They will need reminders about what you expect from them, and what they are to expect from you. Having these few things in place will make the transition back from winter break a successful one for you and your students.