It’s nearly time to head back to school for a brand-new year! As you well know, the first few weeks of the new academic year can be an exciting, yet challenging time as both pupils and teachers settle into new routines and get to grips with the expectations of the year ahead.
Soon enough the long summer lie-ins will be a distant memory, you’ll have a whole class of new pupils to get to know and you’ll start panicking that you’ve forgotten how to teach (you haven’t- we promise!)
But there are lots of things you can do to prepare yourself for the new academic year to make it as painless as possible.
Make sure you have all your resources for your first week printed and photocopied
Don’t leave all your printing and photocopying until the last minute! The summer has been long, and the photocopier has been sleeping soundly for the last 6 weeks. Do yourself a favour and get the printing and photocopying done before the morning the children come back to school. The last thing you want is to be stressing out in a queue of angry teachers because the copier has jammed (again).
Make sure your classroom is equipped and organised
The store cupboard is full…. Go, go, go! Glue sticks galore, brand new pencils, pens (with lids!) and un-bent rulers. It’s a teacher’s heaven and now is the time to make sure you are fully stocked and ready to go.
Make sure everything important is labelled and easy to find, this way the pupils will know their way around the classroom almost automatically and can start learning as soon as possible.
Create engaging classroom displays
Whilst an organised classroom is essential, it’s also important to make it look fun, engaging and welcoming. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create some colourful class displays. If you did some transition work with your new class, this would be perfect to put up. Alternatively, put up a colourful display about your upcoming topic to get the children excited and curious about what they are going to be learning about.
Get up to speed with your EdTech
Before you head back to school, refamiliarise yourself with any EdTech your school uses. Remind yourself of your usernames and passwords and set up new pupil profiles (if needed) for your new class. Remind yourself of how it works and think about how you will get the best out of it.
Prepare some icebreaker activities
Some of your children will be excited to return to school, some may have a mixture of excitement and nerves and some may be terrified (especially if they are starting at a new school). Prepare some collaborative games and icebreaker activities to help the children in the class get to know each other and to remind them about how to work together as a team. They are going to be together in the same classroom for the next year so it’s essential that they know how to get along with each other.
Establish your expectations early
Make your expectations clear from the very first day. Start the year with a firm but fair approach so that the children know what you expect from them. Children like to have clear boundaries, so sit down with them and come up with a list of rules together as a class. This lets them feel part of the decision-making process and helps them take ownership about how they want their time to be with you this year. Write down the agreed upon rules and post them somewhere in the classroom where everyone can see them.
Establish classroom jobs and routines
Getting your routines in place early is one of the best ways to ensure that your classroom runs smoothly throughout the year. Implement a start of class routine for the morning which encourages calmness and getting the children ready for the day’s learning. It’s also a good idea to have an end of day routine in place which involves the children carrying out ‘classroom jobs’ to help get the classroom tidied and organised for the following day. This teaches them that they are responsible for their learning environment (and saves you time at the end of the day!)
Remember: You’re a teacher and you’re awesome at what you do. You’ve got this!
If you would like to know more about our range of EdTech products and how we can help schools become more efficient – contact us!