After what can seem like a lifetime out of the classroom spending six weeks in the sun, going back to school after the summer holidays can be a daunting task for even the most well- seasoned teachers! Not only will you need to contend with the challenge of easing back into a regular schedule, but you will also have the pressure of having a class full of fresh faces to inspire, impress and instil your knowledge into.
Like with most things, getting organized by planning in advance is one of the best things you can do to make your transition from the beach to the classroom as successful as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to get yourself (and your pupils) in the right frame of mind to do your best work. With that in mind, here are our top tips for getting the new school term off to the best start possible.
There’s some truth in what they say; a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind. According to research, having a disorganised work or living space can negatively affect your health and well-being, making it harder for you to focus and more likely to experience feelings of anxiety, stress and sleepless nights.
Cleaning isn’t just for the springtime, so make it your first priority when you get back into the classroom to sort through the pile of documents on your desk. Organize them into files and throw away (or, for the sake of the Earth, recycle) anything that you don’t need; you’ll be surprised at how much you don’t.
To reduce clutter building up again before the next school holiday, you should also be trying to make a conscious effort to reduce the number of documents you print and photocopy. This isn’t just good for your own health, but also that of the planet. Shockingly, the average school uses around one million sheets of paper each year!
As you’ll no doubt already know, planning is a big part of any teacher’s life and is essential for ensuring your lessons run smoothly, helping you to cover everything you need to and get the most out of your pupils in what can be a very short timeframe.
Although many people would simply think of doing this on a spreadsheet, task management software will allow you to set goals, allocate dates to your lesson topics and activities, and give you the satisfaction of checking things off when they’ve been done. Taking advantage of the format of a calendar or planner will help you to visualize your week, so you can see at a quick glance what you’re meant to be doing in each lesson and when.
Creativity and productivity go hand-in-hand, so having regular brainstorming sessions is a great idea if you’re stuck for inspiration for fun and inspiring activities you can carry out with pupils in lessons. This could involve putting any ideas you have in an idea bank (and accessing this as and when you need it), or creating Mind Maps.
Mind Mapping is a great tool if you’re looking for a burst of creativity as you can record every idea that pops into your head, and seeing these together can help you to think of associated ideas you may have otherwise forgotten about.
Mind Mapping is also something you can get students involved in to encourage creative thinking when working on projects such as essays, stories and presentations, or even make it easier for them to learn and retain information when revising for exams. With around 65% of people being visual learners, it could be just the tool they need to ace that test.
Defining goals is vital for success because they make it easier for you to visualize your desired accomplishments, providing you with the motivation you need to get things done. Without them, it’s easy to procrastinate and lose your way. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter how big or small your goals are. What is important is that they’re clear and achievable.
As a teacher, setting goals at the start of the week (or month) will keep you organized as you get back in the swing of your regular routine. Whether it’s as simple as ensuring you get 10 essays marked by the end of the week or that one pupil understands a maths formula before their big exam, ensuring you track your goals will help you to keep them at the front of your mind so you can review your progress.
Getting back into the classroom after your summer holiday doesn’t have to be stressful if you get organised from the get-go! With Ayoa, our task management and Mind Mapping software, you can help yourself and your students generate innovative ideas, carry out great lesson planning, and keep track of your to-do list for the most successful start to a new term. As an educator, you can even take advantage of our 35% discount.
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