Routine is really beneficial for students and pupils, and creates a solid rhythm for your teaching job. Nearly all schools, other than Montessori or child led schools stick to a timetable that underpins the school day, school week, school term and school year. Students get a lot of benefit from knowing what will be happening at any given time, and teachers benefit from having a regular timetable that helps them get through the curriculum and research shows that young people thrive when they have structure and routine with boundaries.
The benefits of assembly
A regular school assembly is great because it brings students and teachers together as a whole school, something they don’t get chance to do very often. It encourages students from different year groups to interact and learn from each other, which means younger children are inspired by the guidance of older children, and the older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors. Assembly can also be a good way to reinforce any values your school has, so they can be lived out in practice, rather than just be words on a wall.
Starting the day well
The first few minutes of the day set the tone for the rest of the day. A really nice regular routine to get into is having each pupil turn the child next to them and say something kind. This builds relationships and sets them up for success. Older students might benefit from an inspirational quote or question written on the board that gets them thinking and talking. If students are in the best frame of mind right from the bell ringing, they will be more attuned to learning – making your teaching job easier.
Try morning yoga
More and more teachers and schools are realising the physical, mental and emotional benefits of doing yoga with their students. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. A simple tadasana (mountain pose) will ground your students, ujjayi breathing (inhale slowly through nose, exhale through mouth) will relax them, and some good stretches will get their blood flowing through their bodies – and importantly brains.
A timetable for efficiency
Having a specific timetable enables you as a teacher to know what you need to cover and when to ensure you get through the curriculum effectively. This means that you are covering all aspects of the subjects you teach, and doing so in a way that has minimal disruption, change over, or inconsistency. This improves efficiency and loses the down time that can come from chopping and changing too often, or looking around for inspiration. It also helps students get in the right mindset as they know what is coming up and when.
Routine is part of real life
One day your students will grow up and enter the working world. And at work there are start times and end times, meetings, regular work to be delivered, and a calendar of activity. There will also be household things to manage – bills to be paid, bank statements reviewed, bins to be put out, and even meals to cook. So it’s essential that you help build strong foundations through classroom routines.
Although spontaneity can be great in life, it’s usually best left outside of the classroom. You can mix things up a bit, but we know that classroom routines are best for healthy and strong foundrations. Good for students and good for teachers. Make sure you set your teaching up for success.