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Thank 2016 Before Celebrating New Year 2017

2017 is just around the corner! In schools, the days immediately following the New Year are when students have just returned from a long vacation. Hence, they are uninterested in getting back to studies right away. However, it is also a time when teachers have to ‘finish the portions’ in each subject. This leaves children bored, and teachers helpless as to how the class can be motivated to break away from the holiday mood. Usually, classroom discussions soon after Christmas vacation revolve around the places each person visited, New Year celebrations, and the resolutions they took. However, these discussions only enhance the festive mood further. This year, teachers can engage themselves and the students in other ways after the vacations, which will also help in restoring the ‘learning-friendly environment’ in the classroom.
Drafting resolutions is one of the most common practices during the New Year. Many people make promises for the upcoming year, pledging to improve themselves. However, New Year need not just be a time to reflect upon our mistakes. The coming of a New Year is also a time to be thankful for what happened in the previous year, for how much we learnt, and to those who helped us in doing so.  It is important for youngsters to realise the importance of their mistakes or unpleasant experiences, as they can learn a lot from them. Further, it is the foremost duty of teachers, to teach students to be content with what they have, and to encourage them to question their successes as much as they question their failures.
There are many fun activities which can be performed in class, to help teachers and students reflect on the learnings and positive experiences of the previous year. Teachers can conduct different types of activities, based on the classes they are handling, and based on what would interest the students. For primary classes, such as classes 1, 2 and 3, teachers could ask students to mention one way in which each of their classmates has helped them in the previous year. This activity would help make young students more appreciative of each other, while also promoting interaction, friendship and bonding amongst them. Teachers can also ask the students about their favourite moment or day of 2016, and the reason behind it being their favourite.
For classes 4 and above, teachers can enhance the same activity and ask students about one good thing that they have learnt in the previous year, from each person in the room, including the teacher. This activity would make students realise that positive learning can happen from their peers and surroundings, and would cement the foundation for the same. It would also make children analyse their positive qualities. In turn, the teacher could share what he/she appreciates about each student. In higher classes, students and teachers can also exchange amongst each other, quotes or proverbs which describe each person and convey what they meant to them during the previous year. Such interactive activities would help greatly in enriching the relationship between students and teachers and in promoting deeper understanding between them.
Wishing all of you a memorable 2017 filled with lots of learning!