I’m pretty sure that it is the weather this week, but I have been in a nasty funk. This never-ending migraine and consuming desire to crawl back in bed have really put a damper on my holiday-loving attitude.
When I’m not feeling well (but not quite sick enough to stay home), I’ve found that it generally best to let my students in on the fact that I’m a little under the weather. Preschoolers are just beginning to understand empathy – there are plenty of adult issues that they just can’t comprehend, but they know how awful if is to feel sick. When my students know that I’m a little under the weather they do the best that they can to be helpful, and they look out for each other to make my day a little easier.
In order for this strategy to work I use it very sparingly. I might only clue them in to my off days once or twice a year, I definitely don’t want to take advantage of their empathy, and there is only so much helpfulness that a preschooler can offer.
I also turn to a few tried and true activities that I know will keep them engaged, with minimal prep or clean up for me. These are the kind of activities that I keep in my rainy day box just for this purpose – the activities that my children love, but we don’t get out very often. I also like to keep these days a little quieter. We do a lot of reading, drawing, and general reflecting and it gives us all a change to recharge a little.
I may still leave for the day feeling completely exhausted, but when I use these strategies I usually don’t end the day feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus – and sometimes that is a major accomplishment!