Getting back in to the swing of things at the start of term can be difficult for students and teachers alike, with the first week being particularly challenging. The breaks around Christmas and Easter can be the most difficult after a short and sweet break filled with fun, family and food gives you a taste of freedom.
There are a few ways that you can get yourself and your classroom prepared for the start of a new term.
- Get organised
By getting yourself organised well before the new term starts, you will feel less stressed about getting back in to the classroom. Start off by looking at the upcoming term and what needs to be achieved and begin writing lesson plans for the first few weeks of teaching. You may even want to reflect on the previous term and what you feel could be changed or improved.
Then start adjusting your sleeping pattern so that early starts don’t become less of a shock and the night before the first day back, prepare lunch and choose get your outfit ready. Whilst these preparations may seem minor, they will help you to feel more prepared and more motivated.
- Create a relaxed environment
Don’t go back after Christmas bombarding students with challenging lessons and lots of homework straight away. After an exciting break, they are likely to come in still with a bit of a buzz and will be eager to chat to their friends and classmates about what they did over Christmas and New Year.
Instead, ease them in with relaxed lessons and make the learning environment engaging. Quick fire refresher lessons can be useful when coming back to school after a break, as it starts to get the brain working again and is less invasive than lessons that are too information led.
Having lots of learning aides such as posters, flash cards and textbooks to hand can be a great way to allow students to re-engage.
- Reflect on the previous term and year
After Christmas and New Year, a great way to get back in to English lessons is to get students reflecting on the previous term or year.
Students can write bullet points or a short paragraph about their achievements or struggles in the previous year and what they wish to achieve in the upcoming year.
By getting them to reflect and make learning-based resolutions, they are re-engaging without putting too much thought in to it. It also allows them to understand where they are and how they would like to move forward and progress.