That’s a Wrap: 3 Positive Ways to Wind Down the School Semester Before Winter Break

It seems like just yesterday you were heading off to meet-the-teacher night and snapping those first-day-of-school pics. As the fall months unfolded, you and your child weathered the ups and downs of a new teacher, classmates, and routine.

And now, winter break is almost here.

Before merely coasting into the break, finish the semester strong with these three tips. Not only will you feel an awesome sense of accomplishment, but you’ll also be a step ahead when school starts in January.

1. Thank Your Child’s Teacher

How many times have you had a positive thought about someone, but allowed the moment to pass without speaking it?

According to Montessori teacher and mother Christina Clemer, “One of the best ways we can encourage gratitude in our children is to model a grateful disposition ourselves.”  She encourages parents to speak naturally and regularly with their children about who, and what, they are thankful for.

And who better to express gratitude to than your child’s teacher?

Before the break, write a handwritten note to your child’s teacher. Invite your child’s input and together share words of encouragement to one of the most influential people in your child’s life.

And don’t let finding the right words to say keep you from saying anything all. Here’s a sample template to get you started:

“Dear {Mr./Mrs./Ms. _________,}

I wanted to pause during this busy season and express my gratitude to you for a wonderful semester of school.

{Name of child} has thrived in your classroom this fall — academically and socially. As his {mother/father/aunt/uncle, etc.}, knowing he is under your consistent, kind, and creative care each day brings peace of mind to our family.

Even when he has a bad day or isn’t feeling the best, you have been there not only to teach him but to patiently correct and comfort him.

I asked him what he loves best about being in your classroom. He said he loves {share what your child shared or loves most about his teacher}.

Know you have my full support as you daily work to make a difference in the lives of these children – I can share with great confidence that you’re making a difference in the life of mine.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.


{Insert name}

Encouraging others shows your child in a simple way the power of words — and no one deserves encouragement more than your child’s teacher.

2. Reach Out to Others

Generously giving to others is the very spirit of the holiday season. This holiday, both your child’s classmates and teacher are worthy recipients of your generosity and your time.

Your Child’s Classmates

Your child’s teacher knows a lot about her students.

Not only does she know their names, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, she also knows the reality of struggles going on at home. If you’re able, purchase a gift card to a grocery store or a local clothing store and ask your child’s teacher to present it to a child in need in her classroom.

You can also support your child’s classmates by actively engaging with the ClassTag app. Your engagement through the app earns rewards for your child’s teacher which she exchanges for classroom supplies and resources. With teachers often spending out of their own pockets to cover gaps in funding, ClassTag is an effortless way to support your child’s classroom.

Your Child’s Teacher

If you have a free day or two on the front end or back end of the holidays, ask your child’s teacher if you and your child serve her in any way.

Tasks like replenishing supplies, cleaning desks, or decorating a classroom bulletin board, are all projects easily done together for a close-to-home cause and it’ll also give your child a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the school running smoothly.

3. Deep Clean Everyday Items and Places

Don’t wait until the night before school starts in January to do some deep cleaning on those everyday items. Now halfway into the school year, backpacks, lunch boxes, and homework spaces could use a thorough cleaning.

Backpacks: Empty the scraps of paper and broken pencils (and who knows what else!) from your child’s backpack. Then wash it by hand or even easier, in your washer.

Lunch Boxes: Think a quick wipe down of your child’s lunch box will do? Not so fast. A deep clean gets rid of the lingering odors and invisible germs that accumulate over time.

Homework Area: Replenish at-home school supplies by taking advantage of the lower-than-normal prices at the holidays. Pencils, markers, and glue sticks also make great stocking stuffers.

Finish Strong — You’re Almost There!

The holiday break is a natural pause in the school year — a time for parents, kids, and teachers to refresh and refocus before the new calendar year. Before the bell rings for the break, positively wind down the school semester — modeling for your child gratitude, giving — and deep cleaning.

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