September is here, which means it’s time to get the lesson plans ready, and start your preparations for the kids to return for another year of learning. It can be hard to get back into the swing of things after a long 6 weeks off. Your routines must change and the social life must once again be put on hold, so we have put together a few tips on how to get yourself ready for the new school year. And how to make sure you are out of holiday mode in time for the start of term.
The most important thing for day one of the new term is to make sure you have your lesson plans sorted. First day back is often a slow easing back in for both students and teachers, but if you know what you will be teaching for the next few weeks, you will feel more at ease, and have a clear plan that you can set out for the children. This helps them to know exactly what it is they will be learning, which can help with retention of information.
First day back, especially if you are getting a new class of children, is mainly spend with introductions and setting out goals and rules for the year ahead. Make sure you have a few introduction style games to play to not only help the children get to know each other, but to help you to learn the students names and see how they interact with each other.
Once term starts you may feel that your evenings have been once again taken away from you, and replaced with books and planning. Ensure you make plans with friends and family to help you destress in the first few weeks. It gives you something to look forward to, and guarantees some time away from the educational environment.
Whether you have a new class or not, you need to make sure you set our clear goals for the year. This will help both you and the children focus and means you have something to reference through the term to make sure you are on track. It is also important to set out rules, and ensure that the children know the level of work you are expecting from them from the outset.
If you teach a particular subject, you may end up teaching the same things over and over year after year, so why not use previous experience to maximise the potential learning opportunities. When making the lesson plans, things about what worked well, and use it again.
Before the kids arrive make sure that your classroom is ready to go. Any displays that are no longer needed can come down, the room itself has been cleaned and tidied, and you have anything the next intake of learners may need.
It is also important to make sure that you are ready for the new term. Don’t let marking and planning take over your evenings, plan your time as best as you can so that your evenings are spent doing things that relax you rather than working.
Over the summer we all let our routines slip a little, so you need to get back into the habit of getting up early, and getting to bed at a normal time. In the days leading up to returning to school, make sure you get enough sleep because even if you are an experienced teacher, the first weeks are going to tire you out.
It is also important to make sure you are eating right. Summer holidays are often spent indulging in food and drink, but to make sure you make it to half term you have to look after yourself. Plan meals, make sure you get exercise and enough sleep and half term will be here before you know it.
You don’t know what you will be faced with on day one until it arrives so make sure you are prepared for every eventuality. It may go smoothy but in case it doesn’t it’s always best to be ready. Have a first-aid kit on hand, have pens and books for anyone who has forgotten, know how you will deal with an upset child or a disruptive child. It may not happen but if it does you will know what to do.
Lastly make sure you are create a welcoming atmosphere for the children, they will enjoy learning more and it will be easier for you to teach them. By providing them with somewhere they feel happy, you are showing that you care about their learning and you are there to help them.