New Term, New Start

For a lot of teachers in the UK, today is the first day of a new term after a lovely two week Easter break. Monday blues could not be worse! With every new term comes some kind of change and after such a long break you should be thankful that you you can jump back into work with re-charged batteries. Here are a few things to think upon your return to the classroom…

Your Pupils…

The only thing worse than the feeling a teacher has when they have to return to school after a half term is the feeling that the pupils have. Remember, you’re in this together – you will be more connected with your pupils on the first day back than you think. Start the week off with some recapping just to refresh the memories and get the brain active again. Don’t jump straight into a new topic, the pupils really won’t be able to work as well as you would want, which will frustrate you more than them.

Think about your GCSE pupils. Take a good long look at them. For many this is the last term you’ll ever teach or see them. Use this as motivation to really push them in the last few weeks. Give them more support, try and build their confidence in preparation for their onslaught of exams. Even the ones you don’t like – they won’t be there much longer so don’t regret anything after they’ve gone, really push them to achieve their full potential.

Your INSET day…Teacher Training CPD

We all know that the Monday and Tuesday after half term usually means you’re in for an INSET day. Although you may look at these long days with dread, they really are vital to your teaching. If you don’t want to personally develop your skills then you’re teaching wrong. Many schools put a lot of time and effort organising training days for their staff – so show some respect to your schools and get stuck into a day of CPD. Question your trainer, collaborate with colleagues, identify your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. If you only take away one new strategy or intervention from your day then that’s a sign of development.

You’re a new face in a new school…

A new term signifies a new start for many. You’ll be hoping for a friendly, welcoming start. You’ll be excited by your new surroundings and nervous about the days ahead. Jump straight in, meet your colleagues, forget their names, get lost in a maze of corridors. Remember that you’ll be a breath of fresh air for many teachers who have taught at the school for a long period of time- they will be as curious about you as you are about them. Don’t be scared to join in the conversation, ask them questions and tell them about your past experiences!

Your classroom…

Classroom

As you enter your classroom, take a look around. Are you happy with it? Are the decorations dated or are they okay? Why not have a shake up of your walls and your desk. A new look signifies a new start. It will have an immediate impact on your pupils as well. They’ll be engaged with the learning immediately without even realising. What about your screensaver as well. Why not change the picture on the background – change it to a picture of your summer holiday destination, even if it is Skegness. This will give you something to look forward to – a goal that you have reach by the end of the term.

Think about your wellbeing…Relax

Mental and physical preparation for a new term is so important. With any job, having to return from a break is tough. It’s harder for a teacher because the breaks are longer and the nostalgic feeling of ‘going to school’ inevitably kicks in.  Try and build up your emotional resilience and speak to your colleagues – they are going through the exact same emotions as you are so the more you relate and talk, the better you’ll feel. I stumbled upon this great article in The Guardian not so long ago, and I highly recommend you give it a read: http://goo.gl/ntM8Ma

Return to school as positive as you can. Remember, you’ve made it to the final term of the academic year, so it it not all doom and gloom! If you have a routine or something that you feel works for you on your return then please feel free to share. Don’t forget to follow on twitter…@MonkeyFishEdu

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