At the beginning of the school year, the new classmates, new teacher, and new environment are exciting. The students are usually geared up and ready to start the year. They are typically very cooperative and get along fairly well.
However things change as time passes by. The Christmas holiday break is a good refreshing separation for the students. Yet when school resumes in January, the students have a long stretch together until summer vacation.
The students begin to get very comfortable with the teacher, the classmates, and the environment. They begin to treat these things more like home and like family. This means bickering, fussing, and more resistance to rules.
The children may begin to act more like brothers and sisters rather than classmates. This time of the year often leads to more discipline problems, more punishment being given out, more tattle telling, and more stress for the teacher.
It seems that the hardest two times of the school year occur during the first and the last months. In the beginning the year are learning your rules and are sometimes not aware when they break them. During the end of the year, they know the rules and are more tempted to push them in order to see what happens and what consequences you give.
It can be very difficult to keep the class in focus on the skills that you have left to learn. When nearing the summer months, it is a good idea to plan more hands-on, active, fun, and engaging lesson plans. It is also important to allow the students some time outdoors. The warm weather and sunshine have been missed by the children and they are anxious to get out in them and run and play.
While you can adjust your teaching style to better accommodate the needs of the students, also remember that you cannot do it at the expense of your classroom values and rules.