Students in Amber Bledsoe’s kindergarten class gather for an after-lunch math lesson Monday at Adair County Primary Center.
Adair County faculty, staff, and students returned to school Monday after two weeks off to celebrate Christmas and the turn of the calendar to 2017. While both students and employees face the challenge of finding their old routines after a lengthy break, the district’s youngest students usually face the biggest adjustment.
“The big thing is the change in the schedule – they’re not used to waking up early and getting out,” Adair County Primary Center Principal Patty Jones says of her young students. “A lot of them have been sleeping late and playing with their toys all day, so it’s quite a change when they come back. We’ve had a couple students fall asleep at their desks this morning and that doesn’t usually happen.”
Despite a bit of the sluggishness, which is expected after a long hiatus, Jones says students have been well behaved and are mostly excited to return to school. “Most of the kids are happy to be back and see all their friends,” Jones says. “There’s been lots of talk of new toys and family trips, so a lot of teachers will give students a chance to share what they did over break today.”
Kindergarten teacher Amber Bledsoe says it is important for teachers to gauge students’ moods upon their return after a break. “On a day like today you kind of have to feel them out a little bit,” Bledsoe says. “They might come back happy, or you might be wiping away tears all day. My group has been really good today – it’s pretty much back to normal already.”
While students gear up for the new semester, teachers are doing the same, armed with new information from the latest assessments, from December. “We come back with new, fresh data,” Jones explains. “From now until Spring Break, it gets a little more intense. We’ll make some changes to schedules and do some additional interventions for students that need them. This is the meat of the year – from Fall Break through Spring Break – so we’re ready to get back to work.”