So here it is ..

14th December 2007 at 00:00
... Merry Christmas and you should be having fun. Give lessons a festive feel but don't wind down too early, says Sue Cowley.With the end of term in sight and levels of pre-Christmas excitement at maximum, don't be tempted to slack off too soon. The kids will be delighted if you start showing DVDs three weeks before the holidays; parents and senior management won't be.

At this time of year, the timetable takes on a flexible nature: last minute rehearsals for the school show, a visit from Santa. Plan accordingly - keep lesson content light. Have a batch of Christmas-style activities to use when the opportunity arises. No matter how tempting, don't let pupils out of lessons early. Out of sight should not be out of mind - they are your responsibility until the bell goes.

If you're a primary teacher, drop heavy hints about the presents you appreciate - "I do so enjoy a drop of fruity red wine at Christmas". If you're a secondary teacher, don't bother, they weren't planning to get you anything anyway.

As the pupils dash out the door for the final time and the dust settles on the disaster zone that used to be your classroom, breathe a sigh of relief. Two weeks of freedom. And if you're an NQT, great. After Christmas you're finally allowed to smile.

Sue Cowley is an educational author, trainer and presenter. Her books include Guerilla Guide to Teaching (Continuum). For more information, visit www.suecowley.co.uk.

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