Surviving Long Weekends

Image result for snow day

Core scripture: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

Message: I am a bit out of my rhythm.  Honestly, can anyone find a rhythm during 3rd quarter?  We are in the midst of a six-day weekend due to conferences, President’s Day, and now today a blistering cold snow day.  Yeah, the temps dipped below zero.  Fun stuff! 

Back to my rhythm—or complete lack thereof.  I normally blog Tuesday morning before school.  Why do that on a snow day, right?  So here I am writing before supper.  Yeah, I did some reading, played a lot of Mini Golf King, napped daily, and even watched the movie Big with my family yesterday.  1980’s comedies rock!  I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything other than curling up on the couch beneath a blanket.

(Perfect timing … As I am writing this, I just got the verification e-mail that school is cancelled tomorrow as well.  Our energy company is rolling blackouts, the weather is still frigid, and my students are high fiving each other all over Olathe making plans to play Black Ops and Fortnite.  I knew God wanted me to write about snow days for a reason!)

Do you ever cringe coming back in from a weekend like this?  Not only is it difficult for me to get back into the routine but think about my students!  One week of staying up past midnight.  One week of Netflix binging, sleeping in till noon, and who knows what else.  If I teach on Thursday, I will undoubtedly be looking at a classroom of blank, zoned out faces.  And my own face probably won’t be too far off!

Pointers anyone?  I suppose that is my job now.  Or the Lord’s job considering He will be influencing the rest of this blog.  Here are some ideas on how to tackle the long weekend back.

  1. Don’t cram stuff in.  I have a tendency to feel behind on these days, yet every time we try to play catchup, it ends up blowing up in my face.  You may need to cut stuff out.  Rearrange a bit.  Consider trying something fun.    
  2. Get them up and moving.  I have tried doing jumping jacks before.  That works!  Even a simple pair share activity that gets them high fiving a partner across the room can get the blood flowing. 
  3. Ask how they spent their time off.  Kids want teachers who care about them.  Listen to their responses.  Ask more questions.  Even tell them about your own time off.  Moments like these create class camaraderie, and it likewise gives you a glimpse of what their home lives entail.  
  4. Give grace when needed.  Bad habits are sure to appear after a whole week off.  Expect this.  Lovingly redirect students when needed.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19).  Don’t lower your expectations; just be understanding. 
  5. Ask God for advice.  You can never go wrong with prayer.  Quiet yourself.  Talk to God.  Ask His advice, and listen to His response back.  He probably has a heck of a lot better ideas than I do anyways!  That is why I will be consulting Him my first day back.

I suppose that is enough to survive the first day back.  I hope this at least gets you started.  The important thing is to take a step out of your own shoes and see the world from the shoes of your students.  That empathy will carry you through.    

Challenge: After sorting through the advice above, prayerfully come up with a plan that fits your students’ needs.   

Prayer points: Please lift up the following areas of prayer …

  • Pray that we can epitomize the Christian teachers God called us to be as students return from long 3rd quarter weekends. 
  • Pray for the transition for our Olathe students to come back to full-time in person on March 1. 
  • Pray that our FCA huddle might be able to meet in person during 4th quarter.  

Other scripture: After reading more of Colossians 3 following putting it as our core scripture above, I realized the remainder of the paragraph it comes from is just as essential to meditate on.  Here it is:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)

Just for fun: If you are missing school so much over these extra long weekends, consider putting yourself through a teacher boot camp, including any of the following ideas: scarfing your lunch in 20 minutes or less, holding your bladder for insanely long stretches of time, and waking up early—just for fun.

Prayer: Lord, help us reconnect with students after those long weekends during third quarter.  Give us patience and wisdom to lead them.  Amen. 

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