Tips For Starting a New Term
Sep 28, 2009 Career Development 2593 Views
Holidays are over but is your body is still sleeping too long? Getting to school late the first few weeks of frazzles the best of us. There could be a million reasons a late arrival to school occurs, just make sure it's not because you weren't awake in time! Leave enough time to allow for a train, a traffic jam, or cattle crossing. My mother said I should never be late because it implied that I was more important than others. With these words engrained in my mind, I do not DO late!
Students, parents and even school staff have tons of great ideas at the beginning of the school year. As educators are giddy with excitement for a new school year and all the possibilities it brings. Remain realistic. Only promise what you know you are able to deliver. Respond with "I'd like to do..." or "That really interests me..." instead of "I'm definitely going to...." Your students and colleagues will remember and remind you regularly if you break a promise.
New teachers bring new life to school staffs, and that's never more apparent that at the beginning of the school year. A school staff should not be like a survivor programme. Act as a part of team instead of a solo teacher. Remember the song: "Make new friends, but keep the old." Try to make newbies feel welcome. Help show them the ropes. Don't put anyone's torch out. Help ignite the flame!
If you've got a to-do list a mile long and have no idea how to accomplish most of the items on it you must remember to ask for help and advice. If you've questions about the nuts and bolts of how the school runs (ordering supplies, schedules, etc) ask your administrative staff. In my experience, they are some of the nicest and tapped-in people in the building. Don't wait for answers to questions over email or memos - go face to face so your to-do list is eliminated.
Throughout the first weeks of school, new students will be added to your class and you'll have the opportunity to meet new parents. You only get one chance to make a first impression- so make the most of it. If you expect your students to adhere to the dress code, you have to stick to it, too. Looking your professional best will help you feel great and that confidence will trickle over into your teaching.
And as your new students settle in, you may think that getting everyone to share a talent/ability is a good icebreaker for the start of the school year. I do urge you to tread lightly. Talking about a talent is one thing, but putting it on display is quite another.
My advice: wait until your class has bonded to trying something like this. Once there is trust in place, the atmosphere of sharing a personal talent is safer and will yield better results.
Years ago, as an NQT, I was full of fresh ideas and passion. I had always wanted to teach. I was determined to do well, promotion came quickly and I volunteered to attend every course I could get on. I always carried a notebook - my "Good Ideas Book". You could consider the same approach. Years later it actually formed the basis of a book.
What your book should contain is some simple practical strategies and skills that you can develop to work for you in any classroom situation you find yourself in; and to answer your questions and address your needs and concerns for future reference - real life scenarios and, of course, the not so common, common sense.