Case Management During the Holidays
The holidays are coming! For our most vulnerable students breaks from school are often met with uneasy feelings and anxiety. As educators it is important to remember that explosive behaviors or shutting down while completing work maybe a product of what is to come. The holidays may mean being alone or taking care of siblings while parents have to work. It could also mean not receiving a free breakfast and lunch each day, leaving many kids hungry. In order to offer support through these times here are a few case management ideas.
For our most vulnerable students breaks from school are often met with uneasy feelings and anxiety.
Many students may not receive gifts over the holidays. Sending a letter in the mail to your caseload with a nice note can lift their spirits and give them something to look forward to each year.
Save money by printing your cards at school! Free Templates
Fun Classroom Activities
Having co-taught high school Biology for five years, we utilized our curriculum to create warm and holiday related activities for students. Every year our heredity unit fell right before the break. Students would complete a lab where they would create an elf by applying their knowledge of genes. They were not only learning but had a fun memory they could hold on to over their break. Don't forget that older students love these types of activities too, even if they do not always show it.
You are your caseload's biggest advocate. It is important to know when one of your kids may need more support, understanding, and patience. Something as simple as a quick two minute check-in for a few days right before a big holiday break can make the world of difference for a student who is struggling academically or behaviorally.
Support a Cause
Receiving gifts is amazing but learning the art of giving is something that our kids will never forget! I taught a resource class supporting students with emotional needs for years. Each year our class collaborated to pick a cause for the holidays. We collected cans to feed the homeless, created ornaments for the elderly in nursing homes, and wrote letters to soldiers overseas. Provide opportunities for your students to experience the true joy of giving. Need Ideas?
Obviously academic time is incredibly important. Students may have to take exams before the break or get ready for testing. There is however ALWAYS time to celebrate. Create a shout-out board, have a potluck (if your cafeteria allows), listen to holiday music while completing tasks, host an ugly sweater day, the list goes on and on! Find ways to incorporate joy and laughter during a tense time for many.