Sunday, 6 January 2013

Getting Off to a Good Start After Winter Break

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah.

Dear Teachers,

Welcome back! I hope and pray that you had a restful, well deserved break, and had some opportunity to spend time with your family. Well, here are a few things to keep in mind during the first week after the winter break:

Renew Your Intentions
Take a moment to once again reflect on why you are teaching at Abraar School. Renew your intention, affirming that you are here to

  • seek Allah's pleasure. This will make every action you do at Abraar an act of worship, earning you immense reward from Allah (swt).
  • make a positive difference in a child's life. Remember, as a teacher, you have the power to change a child's life. This is a trust for which we will be held accountable for in front of Allah (swt).
  • put a smile on someone. Remember, the easiest way to put a smile on someone is to give them a smile first!
  • make a difference in our community and the wider Canadian society by preparing a generation of Muslim leaders who will become catalysts for positive change in our society.
Pure intentions bring about internal and external peace: peace from doubting, suspicion, and anxiety; peace in our relationship with Allah; and peace from being devastated by unexpected results. Working towards Allah-focused intentions is the first step to creating peace in our relationships and community. Most importantly, pure intentions lead to a sense of peace with Allah. Intention helps us stay connected at all times with our life’s purpose. If our intentions were good from the start, we can trust in Allah that He will count our efforts and accept our best attempt. Every day, we can gain ground in our race to Allah simply by checking in on our hearts. May Allah make our intentions purely for His sake alone, Ameen!

What are Students Looking Forward to After the Winter Break?

After a long and restful time away, students are both eager and hesitant about returning to school. They are excited to reconnect with their buddies, share their vacation adventures, get back into a project they love, learn new activities, and play some old favorites. They are looking forward to hearing about what their friends did while they were away and sharing the many stories they have. At the same time they have questions circling in their heads...

Will my teacher remember my name? Will my friends still want to hang out at recess? Where did my teacher say we put our homework folder? And for the youngest...Is the bathroom still down the hall? 

January is "RE" month, a month of re-viewing and re-modeling, re-investing and starting again.

To preserve the work we did during the first few months of school, children need to be pro-actively reminded. Slow yourself down and ease your students back into the routines they knew so well in December before they left for the break. It's better to spend some time insuring a good re-start to school than find yourself constantly correcting mistakes and rule-breaking.

For the first day back think about what students might remember and what they might have forgotten about the routines. Think about what their fears might be-are they concerned about friendships? They have not seen their school friends for about two weeks, so we know they will need a little time to get reacquainted. We can spend time revisiting names so everyone will remember everyone's name, and provide opportunities for them to reconnect socially.

Tips for a Positive Start

  • Greet students at the door with a big smile
  • Posted Reminders: where to put outdoor clothes, backpacks and notes from home
  • Conduct an ice-breaker/warm up activity/game
  • Brainstorm a list of highlights: What was a highlight from winter vacation? List responses on a chart.
  • Take some time out to remodel classroom/school routines (lining up, bathroom, water fountain, wudu time, zuhr prayers, etc.).
  • Remodel work routines (working in groups, getting a putting away materials, voice levels)

1 comment:

  1. Jazak-Allah kheir for the useful tips and reminders, I appreciate them!


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