One thing I LOVE about being on holidays is simply the pleasure of waking up in the morning and not having to rush anywhere! Not having to wake up to an alarm but rather allowing my internal clock to wake up naturally and having a peaceful coffee! Really, I love holidays because I have the option of waking up and choosing to do something or choosing to do nothing at all.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I feel like the holidays **FLY** by too fast after the Christmas and New Year festivities are over. Now coming into the second week of January, which means just under 3 weeks before teachers go back, many of you might be starting to think about the upcoming school year and ways to get yourself prepared for the new teaching year.
Below I’ve put together a list of 6 things I do to get myself ready for a successful year ahead.
#1. Classroom Organisation!
This is a big one for me! I can’t start off a year without a clean and organised classroom. You may be the same, you may not. But I have found, time and time again, if my classroom is organised from the get go, it allows for an easy transition for you and your new class.
Before the kids start –
- Set up your classroom the way you want it! Move chairs and tables, rearrange furniture, get rid of excess furniture if you have to, you aren’t going to do this again for the year so keep going until you are happy with the layout.
- Hang up any posters/ resources the students will need or will refer to often.
- Make sure you have some supplies such as pencils, glue sticks and scissors ready for the students to use – undoubtable not all students will have their own to use in the first few weeks.
#2. Organising your own teacher supplies.
This is a given, you don’t want to start a new year without a pen, even if your school supplies your basic stationery, you don’t want to be without some supplies on your first day! So be sure to check out the back to school specials that are on in all major retailers in Australia. Oh, and don’t forget Aldi have *huge* savings on stickers and stamps.
#3 Icebreakers and games.
The first week of school the students are going to be slightly nervous and anxious. You want to make the transition as smooth as possible for you and the them. Although the first couple of weeks are important to start setting expectations and establishing routines, it is also the best time to get to know your students so having fun ice breakers and getting to know you games are great time fillers or lesson transitions.
#4 Review lessons for the first few days
Along with the usual “getting to know you” type activities I usually have a “friendship” based unit that I teach over the first week. This way I’m teaching something that is important for the students to understand right from the beginning and also it gives me a chance to observe the kids while they are working. So having a mini unit of work ready to go helps with setting work expectations and class expectations.
#5 Establish routines, expectations and behaviour management systems.
Much of this I like to do when I have my class but I do like to think about it before school does start. Think about your class, do you have any students in your class that need extra support? Do you have many behaviour students in your class? Students with learning needs? How will you accommodate all students? Knowing this basic information will help you when thinking about the routines and expectations that you are going to set. Also, consider what behaviour management system you will have in place. All these things are important to consider before you have 20 plus kids staring back at you and waiting for your next move.
#6 Get back into the school routine a week before school starts.
The first few weeks of school are especially hard because you’ve just come from an extended break and suddenly trying to get back into routine isn’t going to work. To make a smooth transition to back to school here are a few simple things you might want to try.
- The week before school starts, start waking up/getting out of bed the normal time you would when you are working. If you are usually up by 6am than start getting up at that time. By doing this, it will naturally mean you would want to go to bed earlier as well.
- Head into your classroom (if you can) and start setting things up. This is the perfect time to do so as there wont be much people around which means less distractions.
- As much as I’m not an a fan of working from home during the holidays, it is necessary to do to help you get into routine. By doing so, you’ll help your mind get back into school mode and you wont be so overwhelmed the first few days back. To make it more enjoyable, try working outside in the sunshine so you’re not missing out on too much fun.
Do you have a special routine that helps you get back into work mode? Leave it in the comments section down below!