Professional Practice

Three Simple Ideas to Combat the Craziness of the Holiday Season

It’s that crazy time of year when even the most organized teachers start to feel as if they are drowning. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to get you through the next few weeks with your sanity intact.


Here are two things to take off your plate, pronto. 

1. Packing a Lunch

Packing a lunch every day can be such a drag. However, with a little planning, you can forego this mundane, time-consuming task. Try starting a teacher potluck system!

Ask interested staff members to each sign up for a single day where they provide lunch for other members of the potluck group. Then, instead of having to worry about packing lunch every day, you can walk into the staff room with lunch waiting for you.



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It’s a great way to experiment with new cuisines, acquire new recipes, and bond with other staff members. You can include any interested parties in the building. The more people involved, the less frequently you have to worry about preparing something. No judgement – order prepared food, cook something homemade… just be sure to make plenty for everyone!

2. Making Decorations

This time of year many of us become “decorators” for holiday concerts and plays. Of course, you can always practice saying no. However, if you want to help out, the best way to tackle this work is by calling in backup. I host several after school painting parties where other teachers come help out.

Send an email asking teachers to volunteer a little time toward making your school look special this time of year. Play some holiday music, put out some silly hats, and maybe even offer some holiday treats. You’ll be amazed how much you can get accomplished with a team of capable adults at your disposal. It will become your unofficial staff holiday party (sans the alcohol and bad decisions).


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Here’s one thing to consider adding.

A Big Brother/Big Sister Program

Things are sometimes slow in other classrooms leading up to the holiday season. I noticed this and worked with my guidance department to get a Big Brother and Big Sister Program started. Middle school students that keep up their grades can miss certain classes to help out the younger students in specials. This allows me to do more involved work with the little ones during the holiday season. I can plan special keepsake projects that require a bit more attention because of the extra help.

The season of giving is upon us, so asking for help is often well received. These three ideas will allow you to be a little more present during this hectic time of year.

Do you feel more stressed out in late fall and early winter? 

What are your best tips for managing your classroom and the stress?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Lee Ten Hoeve

Lee Ten Hoeve, an elementary and middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about making art a core subject and employing curiosity to engage learners.

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