Summer holidays offer teachers the chance to recuperate. In this month’s Ilm o Amal, TRC staff looks at how teachers can get back into their teaching routine with ease, after much needed R&R.
While long breaks offer a much needed opportunity to disconnect from work, they can also disrupt a teacher’s work routine and his or her ability to instruct. Because of the nature of your job as a teacher, you need to make sure that the temporary break in your routine will not disrupt your ability to focus. Here are a variety of ways you can use the weeks leading up to the new school year to make the transition easier.
In the weeks leading up to the start of the new academic year, plan your transition back to work. As a teacher, you already know that preparation makes everything easier. Devise a plan ahead of time and use it as a guideline to follow in your first few weeks. This is much easier than improvising and pressuring yourself to be organised and creative while in the middle of a session.
By planning out the weeks immediately before and after long breaks, you can set yourself up for a successful transition with minimum disruption to your teaching routine.
While planning your transition back to the classroom, keep in mind that students are also getting back into a routine after a long break. This is the time to take things slow in the classroom. Simply put, avoid asking your students to start a major assignment on their first day (and if possible, first week) back in the classroom. Begin with some easy exercises to start the slow transition back to the classroom. This should help to reenergise your students.
Keep Things Moving
As you transition back, stick to a pace that is slow, but steady. The bottom line is that you have to complete the curriculum and follow a busy schedule.
Figure out the perfect balance to ease students back into the classroom and stay on schedule. At the end of the day, you need to get your students going.
Fix Your Body Clock
A week or so before school starts, begin going to bed earlier. Everyone gives that advice to children, but it is as true for teachers. It is very common to sleep at odd hours of the night during summer vacations. Start going to bed early so there isn’t a shock to the system when you go back to school. Your body will thank you for it.
Think About What Worked
Before the new academic year begins, reflect on the last year. Were you very successful at something last year? If so, stick to it, or think about how you can improve it in any way you can. Whatever worked, just do it again!
Think About What Didn’t Work
Was there something that you needed to work on last year? A concept that you felt you weren’t able to teach properly? Take the weeks before school starts, and work on exploring the concept. Read blogs about it, watch videos or listen to podcasts to see how you can do this more effectively.
Go into School
Get organised and start going to school before the year kicks off officially. This can help you feel calm and ready to face the new academic year. Not having the students in the classroom will help you get more done. It is time to get the displays ready, draw up your lists, get the class library organised and decide on a class seating plan. You will feel prepared when school starts.
Prepare for Difficult Behaviour
Yes, transitions are not always easy and children can act up, especially during the first few weeks of school. One of the most difficult things to deal with in the classroom is difficult student behaviour. Read up on behaviour strategies or talk to colleagues before the academic year starts to increase your toolbox of ways to deal with these.
Take Time Out for Some Self Care
Take time out, before the year starts, to treat yourself. Go for a relaxing spa treatment or a massage. If that sounds like it might be too heavy on your budget, try some at-home spa treatments to feel good about yourself. There are plenty of online resources to help you with this at home, if you don’t know where to start. The pampering will help your relax and feel energised before the year begins.
Just as vacations are nearing the end, many teachers find it daunting to return to school and face the overwhelming demands of planning, managing, teaching, marking and reporting. We hope that by helping you get organised, reducing your stress and enhancing your wellbeing, these strategies will help you ease yourself into the new academic year.