Coming Back from Christmas Vacation Just Got a Little Easier

It’s odd how when someone you respect says something to you, the words come back to you over and over again.  

I was very fortunate to have Kathy Huber, a wonderful mentor, my first year as a health teacher at Sherburne-Earlville.  She guided me through the challenges of how to fill out a grade book, course outlines, curriculum development, discipline and time management.  

She also said to me, “One of the very toughest days to be a teacher is the day you come back after Christmas vacation.  It’s dark, it’s cold, your next break won’t be until February and you have an overwhelming amount of hard work ahead of you as you do your job of impacting the lives of students.”

I can still see her sternly looking over her glasses at me as she informed me of what was ahead.

There have been years where her prediction has come true.

Because of Fit Kids Fit Future, 2015 was not one of those years, and I am predicting that 2016 won’t be either.  

I have replayed Mrs. Huber’s comment in my mind as I approach the last time I will turn the calendar to January as a public school teacher.  

It will be cold, really cold.

It will be the first day back from a tropical vacation with our family (which will make it colder).

It will be dark.

It will be a long time until February break.

As any teacher would agree, it will still be “you have a great deal of work ahead of you to impact the lives of students.”  The difference now is that it’s not as overwhelming, and it’s unfolding in positive ways every day.  As I write this I am supervising a high school study hall.  I called attendance and asked one student privately why he has been assigned in-school suspension.  He said, “I got caught. I was trying to sneak into gym class twice a day.”  He is a senior.

In this, the third year of implementing the Fit Kids curriculum in my health and PE classes, the new semester approaching is filled with possibilities. I no longer dread the process of  testing for growth in my classes. Using the  template for assessing progress that Josh Lewis and I co-authored, testing is now easy, and an activity that both the kids and I enjoy.  I  can pre-test students, I can offer challenges, I can utilize adventure games and the leadership component in the gym.  In health,  I can travel with my students through the health curriculum and have a blast doing it.

Mrs. Huber, perhaps January 4th won’t be so bad after all.

Fit Kids Fit Future’s  last Professional Development workshop of 2015 will be offered at OHM BOCES on December 17th from 8-noon.  We would love to have you join us to find out what it is all about.



Tammy Alcott


Comments 1

  1. Tammy,
    This reads with such love and passion for your students and the work you do each day. It should go in the Waterville news letter and the local paper because it really captures the reality of dark and dreary thoughts that can get you down and the reality of altered perspective and how that changes the unpleasant into joy, if we allow it to happen. It also captures the ‘why’ in teaching. We do it because of the kids.
    Keep writing! You have a gift for this inspirational writing.

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