classroom management,  Holidays,  party,  valentine's day

Managing Class Party Chaos

I’ve been thinking about all of my teacher friends for the last week or so because I know that many of you are preparing for Valentine’s Day parties in your classrooms tomorrow.  In my experience I’ve found that there are two kind of teachers; those that absolutely love party days, and those that dread and hate them.  I personally fall under the LOVE category, but I can completely understand why one might dislike these days. Let’s face it, the children can’t focus on anything, the room is loud, and there is usually far too much sugar, not to mention activities that need a lot of prep, and just extra mess in general.  It’s enough to wear you out just thinking about it.

Since I am on the pro-class parties team, I have a couple of tips for these days that have always worked wonders for me;

  1. Make the day just as special for you as it is for them. I get into the spirit by putting on a festive outfit (you can bet I’ll be wearing red tomorrow), and I make sure that I include a few treats for myself along the way.  Starbucks on my way to work in the morning, yes please.  A special treat at lunch time, you bet.  Something fun to look forward to when I get home in the evening, even something as simple as picking up a pizza for dinner after school can make all the difference.  These little things make the day enjoyable for me too, and then I can better understand why my students are so amped up. 
  2. Embrace the chaos.  It cannot be controlled, this doesn’t mean throw all of your rules out the window, but it does mean that it is helpful to relax them just a bit.  Spending the entire day being the enforcer will just stress you out, pick your battles and go with the flow.  The same goes for your daily schedule. If you really need an extra brain break, or a little more time outside to blow off all that extra steam, then take it.  
  3. Share your expectations right from the start.  If you aren’t partying until the afternoon, let your children know that the morning will be business as usual.  This way they will be clear on your timeline.  I always did class parties after we got up from nap, when my children knew that they had to wait until after nap it helped them frame the day in their minds, and it saved me from answering the “is it party time yet?” question over and over again. 
  4. Remember that these days are magical.  These party days are the ones that children will remember, so let them enjoy.  Smile and laugh with them and let yourself get in on the fun too.  Our children only get to be children once, and there aren’t many occupations that include fun parties for every little holiday, they should get to enjoy these opportunities now. 
I’ll be thinking of all of you tomorrow, I hope that your parties go well and that you get some much deserved rest afterwards! 

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