As the school bell rings on the last day of term, it may feel like September is a million miles away. Six weeks of freedom lie ahead and, to make the most of your summer holiday, you plan to catch-up on sleep, do a bit of travelling, start a new hobby, reconnect with friends – the list of possibilities is endless!
But all too quickly the summer fun comes to an end; the new academic year creeps up out of nowhere and, suddenly, you need to start making preparations.
Getting ready for ‘back to school’ can be a daunting task. However, combine a positive approach with our handy top-tips, and hopefully you will have a smooth, stress-free return to the classroom.
Have a Revamp
Classroom appearance can have a real impact upon children’s learning, so take time over the summer to revamp and redecorate. Pinterest and social media sites are a great place to start for some inspiration, offering plenty of ideas to create a cheerful and interesting classroom. Perhaps you could even rearrange the furniture or choose a fun theme for the wall displays. Be as creative as you like, and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make.
Suss Out Your Pupils
Before the first day of term, it’s a good idea to research your pupils. Perhaps get in touch with their former teacher for some inside information, such as which teaching strategies have worked well in the past or any particular class interests. Practise pronouncing children’s names and create name tags to help you learn who’s who during the first week. You could even plan a few ‘getting to know you’ games, which will not only help to break the ice, but may also provide insight into each child’s personality and learning style.
Get Ahead of the (Planning) Game
Teaching jobs certainly aren’t 9-5; with a heavy workload to manage, it’s easy to find yourself marking pupil’s worksheets late at night and hastily planning lessons on a Sunday afternoon. The summer is a great time to get organised and plan lessons ahead of the term, helping you to maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout the school year. Be inventive and try to make lessons as interesting and dynamic as possible, and be sure to get your learning resources and classroom supplies ready too.
Book a Trip
Children absolutely love school events and trips; the excitement of choosing a partner, getting on a coach, and going on a mini-adventure with their classmates – even if it is just a 10-minute journey to the local museum! Think about what trips might be relevant to the themes you are teaching, and book them now while you have the chance. For example, if your science lessons are focused on animals, a trip to the zoo might be a good idea, helping to engage children’s interest and consolidate what they have learnt in the classroom.
Set the Rules
The summer is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the last year, identifying what worked well and what didn’t, and refining your classroom management strategy. There’s plenty of teaching blogs out there, providing advice on how to establish an effective classroom routine and manage pupil behaviour. It’s important that you understand the school behaviour policy, so take some time to refresh your memory, come up with a few new strategies, and set clear rules from day one.
Join an Agency
If you haven’t secured a position for September yet, all is not lost, and there are still ways in which you can prepare for the new academic year. For example, you could contact a teaching agency and find out what they have to offer. At Connex, we have a range of day-to-day, short-term, and long-term placements up for grabs. Give us a call on: 0845 266 0650 and see if we have the right opportunity for you!
Making preparations over the summer months can make a huge difference. So use your time wisely, and by following these helpful tips, you can start the new academic year on the right foot.