I'm not really talking about the holidays, in particular. I'm talking about the slump I find myself in, thinking about what changes I can make in my teaching practice to really turn things around for my students who are struggling.
Today I'm in a fight with myself about whether it's worth teaching the lesson I'd planned for, even though we go on break tomorrow and only 2/3 of my students showed up. Should I send them the message that today is an important day to be here, and that we will work hard right up until the end? If I send that message, will they get it? Or will I just spend the next 2 weeks after break trying to convince the students who missed today that they need to come in during lunch to make up the lesson they missed?
With the 2nd semester coming up, it is time to step back and think about the big picture rather than each individual lesson. And I've got to figure out how to do that without simply feeling weighted down with despair over my failures as a teacher. I can't sit around and wait for parents to force their kids to come to school, for kids who are behind to take the initiative to improve their skills, or even for my colleagues to be the ones to call home regarding classroom misbehavior. It has to be me. I can be better.