The recent school year hopefully ended with a bang rather than a whimper for those currently teaching in the UK. But even if you’ve gone into the summer holidays on a high note, there’s still plenty of opportunity to make the 2017/18 school year the best of your career. While there are several weeks to wait before you’re back in the classroom, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the first term back in September. With this in mind, here are seven ways you can top last year.
The teaching profession is full of rewards. In fact, most people in it would certainly agree that the positives outweigh the negatives. This is why it’s time to leave any bad experiences – no matter how large or small they may be – firmly in the past. When you step back into the classroom, you will want to have a positive ‘can do’ attitude from day one. This frame of mind will hopefully persevere throughout any hard times that may lie ahead until the end of summer term 2018.
It’s all too easy to fall into a bad morning routine. While this doesn’t just apply to those in the education profession, it can sometimes be teachers who suffer the most from not establishing a firm routine. The trick is to give yourself as much time to enjoy a substantial breakfast – and possibly even a spot of exercise – before it’s time for work. These will leave you feeling bright and alert by the sound of the first bell. You should also try to make it into the classroom early enough to make sure that you’re organised before the pupils arrive. In addition, it might help to avoid the rush hour traffic as this is often the cause of undue stress for many.
3. First impression
Teachers only get one chance at a first impression. Therefore, you can’t risk squandering the opportunity to make an immediate impact with your new pupils. Ideally, you will come across as firm but fair – especially on the first day back in September. If you’re a little too much on the firm side there’s no need to worry because you can always loosen up as time goes on. Essentially, you just want to make sure that you get off on the right foot if you’ve got any hope of surpassing your achievements from previous years.
4. Comfort zone
Everyone has a comfort zone – but not everyone likes to leave it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relying on tried and tested techniques that you know work. However, there are often plenty of benefits from stepping outside this space and embracing something different. For instance, until now you may have been reluctant to rely on technology as a teaching tool. Yes, it might seem a little scary to attempt something you’re currently unsure about, but in the long run, it could lead to you becoming a more well-rounded educator and enjoying your job more.
The majority of teachers have one main goal: great exam results. However, there’s plenty of benefit in setting yourself short-term targets throughout the school year. These don’t necessarily have to be focused on test results either. In fact, they can be anything from increasing attendance to eliminating lateness. If you can successfully meet these challenges, you should find that you feel accomplished at the end of every working week. The sense of pride that comes with this can make your job that much more enjoyable.
It’s always wise to make sure that parents are on your side. That’s why you should try to reach out to them as often as possible during the upcoming school year. To build a strong relationship with them, try sending regular letters or emails to update mums and dads on their children’s progress. You could even try catching them for a quick chat by the school gates if you have the time at 3pm. Once you’ve become acquainted with your pupils’ parents, it will become easier for you to lean on them when you require their support throughout the year.
It’s in everyone’s best interest that you get along with your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to touch base with your fellow teachers – whether it’s just to pick their brains for advice or to discuss shared resources. Similarly, make sure that you always provide a welcoming ear should they need to speak to someone about their own problems. You will likely find that the school day goes much quicker when you’re on good terms with your colleagues and consider them to be your friends.
It’s almost here!
The school term will be here before you know it. Luckily, there’s every reason to be excited about what could possibly be in store over the next 12 months. If you thought last year was good, then this year can be great if you follow these seven top tips.