Teachers: Winter break refreshing
Staff at Frenship Middle School said students and teachers both come back from Christmas break rejuvenated for the spring semester.
As students enjoyed a final day of freedom on their winter holiday, teachers trudged back to school Monday morning to prepare for classes.
Principal Jerry Jerabek said when students return for the spring semester, it’s always a neat time.
“It’s kind of a clean, fresh start for everyone,” he said.
“It’s a fun time at school, and kind of an exciting time, because people are refreshed and recharged and everybody has Christmas stories they want to tell.”
Jerabek said before the break, students are tired and ready for Christmas.
“They come back a little bit changed,” he said.
Sixth-grade math teacher Stephanie Robertson said she sometimes sees evidence that things she has taught during the first semester have had time to sink in over the vacation.
“That’s nice, because everything you do in the spring bounces off what you did in the fall,” she said.
Robertson said students have to readjust to getting up early to come to school, but the kicker is teachers do, too.
“We’ve been staying up late, sleeping in,” she said.
Nonetheless, Robertson said she plans to not waste a single day of instruction by allowing her students to adjust slowly.
“For my class tomorrow, we’re hitting it head-on, because I just don’t have any time to waste,” she said. “Every day is precious in the spring.”
Kathy Schoenrock teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade reading, as well as gifted and talented students, and she said their approach to returning to school varies by age.
Sixth-graders, she said, are more excited about school, generally.
“Eighth-graders are coming into eighth-grade-itis,” she said. “They are so ready to get out of here and go to high school.”
Schoenrock said while her sixth-grade students are more motivated, she has to entice her older students to stay on task.
One way to do that is to remind them that if they don’t pass their eighth-grade state exams, they cannot move on to high school.
Robertson said she agrees that eighth-graders are under a lot more stress than the younger students.
“Eighth-grade level is more pressured, especially in math, because their tests are a whole month earlier,” Robertson said.
But if students don’t pass on the first try, she said they have two more chances before being held back.
Schoenrock said she does try to ease her students back into the school routine, but she said personally, she is already ready to come back to school.
“It’s shocking to thingk that we’ve got half a year through,” she said, adding that teachers usually feel like this time of year is a downhill slide into summer.
“I’m really ready to be back,” she said.
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