Without a shadow of a doubt, the best preparation that teachers can have for the start of the new school year in September is to allow themselves enough time to relax and rejuvenate over the six-week summer break.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to recuperate over the holidays. Once school kicks in again in September, it becomes very difficult to properly relax and refresh. School life soon becomes a rollercoaster ride that’s extremely difficult to get off once term has started.
This is why it’s well worth bearing in mind a few tips that will help teachers to prepare for the new school year.
Ease back into the world of teaching
Typically, it takes a good week or so at the start of the summer holiday to relax and wind down after the stresses of the school year. By the time you are properly relaxed there’s only a few weeks before the new school year begins and the relentless pace starts up all over again.
It can be a massive shock to the system, so some forward planning to help you ease back into the world of teaching is wise.
Revisiting and brushing up on school policies, especially the likes of behaviour and uniform, is a good idea. Most schools start back in September with one or two inset/training days. These are helpful in that they are a good way of getting back into the swing of things. However, you tend to be bombarded with information too. It can be overwhelming and a bit too much to take in. It’s impossible to revisit everything in a couple of days, so it’s sensible to do a little bit beforehand as well.
Prepare your classroom
Your classroom is your kingdom and the place where you will spend the majority of time during the school year. To some extent, the displays you put on the wall and the like might be dictated by the SLT. But, in general terms, you are usually free to set up and layout your classroom how you see fit.
Creating a learning environment that you and your students will feel comfortable in and that is conducive to learning is very important. What’s more, all teachers need to come across as calm and organised. If your classroom is a mess and disorganised from the beginning, it’s can be difficult to set the correct tone for the new school year. It pays to spend some time getting things straight before you welcome students back.
Know your classes and your timetable
Take a bit of time over the summer to look at your new timetable. Plan your schedule around it. It will always be ‘subject to change’ to a certain extent during the school year, as you never know what might happen day-to-day. However, building in time slots to mark or plan from the very beginning, should help you to make effective use of your time in school. This should mean that you have to take less work home with you.
There’s time at the start of term to establish classroom expectations with new classes, but it’s a good idea to have done your homework about the students you are to be teaching before you meet them. Make sure you know about specific needs pupils might have and any information that might be useful to know about them.
Last but not least, remember that having a calm and organised mindset is vital. Anything that helps you get to that place at the start of term is excellent preparation.