New to the profession and want to kick off the academic year in style without crashing into Christmas, exhausted and bewildered?
Or just want some reminders on how to preserve your sanity in the “busy-ness” of the new year? Try these top ten ideas for a great term ahead!
Hit the ground running, yes, but remember you cannot sprint all the way through to the end of term. Pacing is crucial. Ensure you safeguard time off and book something relaxing to do during the half term break. Take care of your wellbeing on an ongoing basis so that your Christmas break isn’t dominated by sickness.
Colleagues can’t always be trusted to notice when you are struggling. Build sound relationships and talk about your concerns sooner rather than later. Be a good listener too. Don’t be afraid to admit when your workload gets too heavy.
3. Keep it light
It’s so easy to get bogged down in the intensity of the term. If workload escalates, stress levels are bound to soar and we tend to find it harder to retain a healthy perspective that keeps our working lives from bleeding into every other aspect of life. Guard against that. Remember the things that make you feel good, and actually do them. Remember what calms you and what relaxes you. Plan enjoyable things for your time off and take note of the little things that boost your mood.
4. Learn names
It’s wise to learn names as quickly as possible, not only for transforming behaviour but also to make relating easier too. Some teachers rely on seating plans for this, others choose to take photos – whatever works for you, do it..
You cannot plough on, running on empty indefinitely. Something will give. Build adequate rest time into your working week and there’s a high chance you’ll improve efficiency. Resting leads to a win/win outcome.
Ever been told not to smile until Christmas? Forget it! Smile as much as you can. You’d be surprised at how something as simple as a smile can help with building strong and effective relationships with the children and young people you teach.
Great teachers are reflective teachers. Find what works for you. Some keep learning journals, some make a note of what’s worked and what needs refinement, some jot a word or two down each day by way of summary; there are many approaches to reflection. The key is to find a way that works for you so that reflection becomes a feature of your day to day work.
There’s so much we can learn through working more closely with others. There are bound to be opportunities for collaborative working so take them whenever possible. Joint planning can mean a reduction in workload, and working with a colleague on any difficulties you may be facing is bound to bring about speedy solutions. There’s no point in struggling alone.
Your early professional development is an important bridge between your initial teacher education and the rest of your career. Identify development needs as soon as possible and find out how these might best be met. Colleagues can be a great source of development too so find out what areas of expertise exist in your school and fill the gaps in your knowledge!
Forget about surviving, your career is all about thriving. If you’re not enjoying your work, despite any challenges you may be facing, it’s time to take action. Aim to thrive rather than survive.
Whether you’re new or experienced, have a great term!
This article was originally published on eTeach.