February seems to be the favorite month to hate in education.
Students are eager to be outside for a long-awaited Spring that hasn’t arrived yet…
Unexpected snow/ice/wind chill days throw off neatly arranged lesson plans…
The never ending To-Do list finds itself lengthening…
With all the hate swirling around February there is one reason I find joy in the month, our annual FFA Week Community Pancake Feed!
This February Tradition of a Pancake Feed worked its way into our chapter at Blue Valley starting my first year of teaching. I was shocked to see how many kids wanted to come in at 5am and start making pancakes for the Community Pancake Feed. First year we ran out of pancake mix…with people still lining up outside the door of the Ag shop. We never could have imagined how popular this event would become and it has quickly become a mainstay of our FFA Week Tradition.
As a lover of everything PANCAKES, in celebration of what little remains of the month here is a quick Pancake Survival Guide to help us finish strong!
Plain and Simple:
- Pancakes sometimes are served best just as they are…soft, fluffy stacks of wonderfulness!! Successfully navigating the month of February requires that somethings just need to be made plain/simple. Simplify that project you’ve been overcomplicating (I’m guilty of overcomplicating anything I can get my hands on!) Get rid of that clutter you have been hanging on to on your desk or in your classroom! Freshen it up and leave room for a new season!
Sweeten It Up:
- February tends to drag…therefore the need for a good pickup is always called for!! Chocolate pancakes always hit the spot and my sweet tooth! (My favorite breakfast joint in Manhattan is Early Edition and their Chocolate Chip pancakes are to die for!!) Sweeten up the month of February with a Twitter Chat there’s a couple great ones out there, but my favorite is the Sunday evening #TeachPos chat moderated by Craig Shapiro! These Twitter chats energize me for the coming week and keep me in a positive, sweet mood for my students to hit the ground right on Monday!
Fresh N’ Fruity:
- Pancakes with fruit just burst with color!! Striking red strawberries or raspberries, the white cool whip, deep blue blueberries, or the soft yellow bananas…and those are just a few of the fruits one could top a pancake with!! Our month of February requires a similar burst of color! Do a craft for yourself with colored pencils or colorful play dough; tap into your inner youthfulness for a quick weekend brain break and bring color back into an otherwise colorless world of February!
- Whoever invented pancake puppies deserves to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize…these wonderful, sugar-coated, round pancake perfections scream dunk me in syrup and cinnamon spice! Pancakes don’t have to be as they always seem…they are nothing but dough anyways and are highly flexible to change. Our perspectives too, need a rethink after a long winter slog. We get in that winter rut and honestly we need to approach differently the work we are doing. Was that recent closed door a failure or an opportunity to pursue a truly important goal? Was a recent student behavior issue going to make you feel mad/angry or is it an opportunity to demonstrate grace, while cultivating a relationship to understand the child?
- Pancakes are only limited by our own minds…remember the above pancake puppies? Sometimes we need to throw the old rulebook out on what makes a pancake a pancake and start with a clean slate. In the month of February we need to breakthrough the wall and start anew. Bring back that creative spark that launched you in the start of the year in August and during the January semester reset. Do something different with that bulletin board or try a review game that you haven’t done before! Allow students to accomplish a creative project to demonstrate their learning at the end of the unit! They need it as much as you do!
If you are looking to bring a little cheer and sweetness to a month that can drag us down…crank on the griddle and get to mixing/flipping. I promise, nothing brings a smile like a stack of pancakes!
Writer’s Note: For those interested readers and Blue Valley locals we will be having our annual FFA Week Community Pancake Feed next week, Thursday Feb. 21st, at the new Ag Ed Center. We will serve pancakes from 7am to 9am! Everyone is welcome!!