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Back to School Top Tips

Teachers, parents, children, TA’s and staff across the UK are gearing up for the start of another academic year next week. Read on for  ‘Back to School Top Tips’ brought to you by Teach In.

Quicker than Usain Bolt’s trial at Central Coast Mariners, NSW soccer club the Summer of 2018 is over. This Summer will be remembered for its heatwave, with temperatures unusually warm for the UK and records broken, making Aussie teacher feel truly at home. GCSE results were awarded for the first time in numerical order meaning a 9 was highest & 1 lowest, in a bid to toughen up content studied & axing coursework.
Summer feel like distant memory? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled our Back to School Top Tips to help you start the new term stress free!

Tip 1

Back to School Top TipsAs a teacher you get two “Happy New Year’s”. One on January 1st and one in September! Therefore, this calls for a celebration at the start of the new academic year. Traditionally, resolutions are set at New Year, so why not extend this tradition to your class room? Set goals – these could be for yourself, a Year 7 English class to improve their comprehension or it could be re setting your classroom expectations & sticking to them all year. Some may go as far as creating a vision board to support this. In those headachey, “why am I doing this moments?” and at painful points during the year – going back to your goals may give you clarity. It’s a great habit, as let’s face it, you set & review goals for the kids all year long.

Tip 2

Reality Check. Keep everything in perspective, including your “to do list”. Be realistic in terms of rewards vs consequences charts, homework & expectations. Don’t take on another extra curricular activity on your only free evening. As a teacher you must create boundaries to give yourself a sensible work / life balance.

Tip 3

Pace. The UK school year is split into half terms. Thinking about tips 1 and 2, prepare for your teaching year as endurance training (with sprint training intervals). The winter months are quickly upon us so take good care of yourself – have a stash lemon & honey lemsips, a coffee flask and your favourite mug. Try and get round to doing all those things you “put off doing” as you were too busy teaching last year – renew your gym membership, yoga classes, organising your NHS doctor / dentist in case you do need a “caught the lurgie from my Year 2 class” appointment. “Wellbeing” is a buzz word in schools, make sure you are applying that mantra to yourself!

Tip 4

Back to School Top TipsWhere is your next holiday destination? Travel and using your Youth Mobility
Visa is a huge draw card for teaching in the UK. Remember the above, in the UK, there is a holiday every 6-8 weeks. Get your map, hop online and getting booking your European adventure. For inspiration on where to go next, check out Reyne’s blog.

Tip 5

“No teacher is an Island” – schools are big communities. There has to be someone in school who can support you with a sensible answer to your question. The majority of schools & staff are supportive, welcoming and caring. We encourage our pupils to ask for help if they are struggling or have a problem – teachers should do the same and look to mentors, SLT, their agency, other colleagues, parents, children, TA’s and, of course, themselves in the mirror for any solutions. If in doubt, shout out for help!
For any more advice, check out our Science teacher Jess’s blog for more staying sane tactics.