I have to admit that I was a "focused to the last day" teacher in my high school classroom. I taught, reviewed, and tested to the very last minute, and in my school setting, that was typical. If anything, my creative and often project-based assessments were a break for the students from the fact and figure assessments they were preparing for in other classes.
But now that I am getting a bit older, I realize I made some mistakes.
First of all, I never taught my students a very important truth:
You must appreciate today as you respect yesterday and prepare for tomorrow.
With that said, I'll be taking some time this holiday season to appreciate my todays!
My last suggestions this year for your classroom?
Have some fun! And appreciate the little things! Talk with your students. Get to know them more. And show them that you care. While I know that I was a good teacher and that I well prepared my students for their futures, I don't know that they all knew how much I cared. Make it clear, especially during the Holiday Season! Consider it the greatest gift you can give!
P.S. See you next year!