What’s your take on the traditional cookie exchange? I imagine it depends entirely on your role in the event. While I can’t take credit for arranging any cookie exchanges in the last few years, I can certainly predict the thoughts of each involved party:
- Students: “I started the day with a plate of cookies that were all the same. Now I leave with a plate of cookies of many kinds, which I picked, and which I fully intend to eat before I get home. Someone even made Buckeyes. Sugar overload!”
- Parents: “I stayed up all night baking cookies because my child forgot to mention the exchange until 9PM last night. My kitchen is a nightmare, and I definitely considered buying a box of cookies at the grocery rather than this chaos. I need a nap.”
- Teachers: “I’ve got a stack of Christmas cards on my desk and all of next week off. I can finally breathe… Wait, how’d all of these crumbs end up on my floor? It’s everywhere! Crumbs! EVERYWHERE!”
While some of these responses may be slightly dramatized, there’s something to be said about the holiday break that follows the cookie exchanges. What I never realized about the educators' sabbath was just how much was going on behind the scenes. While my seventh grade self was sleeping in, watching lots of Christmas movies, and eating enormously large quantities of cookies, I’ve learned that my best teachers were surely taking a deep breath, but still working hard. And I would have never believed it if you told me that they were working while I was prancing around in the snow. Don't teachers build snow forts too? That’s just another incredible attribute of educators. They never stop learning; developing their own skills and knowledge base, which then impacts every student who walks into their classroom.
It wasn’t until I started filming the classrooms of teachers across the state of Ohio that I understood how much passion, commitment, and time it takes to be an effective teacher. As a result of that, I’ve spent the last two years developing the FIP Video Library. These videos are designed to be approachable professional development material for your week off, featuring bite-sized content that can be easily consumed and enjoyed. Each video is just 1-3 minutes long and includes a series of reflection questions to consider as you watch, so you can apply what you’ve seen to your own practice. From practical, in-class examples of FIP to testimonies and stories from educators and students alike. And much like your favorite holiday cookies, the videos pair nicely with a big mug of coffee or hot chocolate.
This holiday break, I encourage you to take time to embrace the silence. Maybe even sleep in a few minutes later than usual. But continue to challenge yourself in how you are impacting the lives of students in your classrooms.
As for those Christmas cookies… Pardon me, while I indulge.
Check out the newest additions to the FIP Video Library from Waynesville Middle School.