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
Effective preparation for the upcoming term is paramount for a seamless return to the classroom. By proactively organizing yourself in advance, you can alleviate stress and establish a positive foundation for the impending academic period. Commence this process by thoroughly assessing the curriculum and objectives for the upcoming term. Craft meticulously detailed lesson plans with the help of The Teaching Couple and its counterparts for the initial weeks of teaching, ensuring they incorporate engaging activities and relevant materials to capture students’ attention and cultivate an optimal learning environment.
Extend your preparation beyond lesson plans to include the development of comprehensive assessment guides. These guides should clearly delineate expectations for student performance, assessment criteria, and mechanisms for providing constructive feedback. The careful construction of assessment tools guarantees that the evaluation process remains fair, transparent, and aligned with the predetermined learning objectives.
Prioritize the establishment of a healthy sleep routine as another crucial aspect of preparation. Ease into a sleep routine that aligns with the early start times commonly associated with the school day. This proactive approach prevents the first day back from becoming a disorienting experience, allowing you to commence the term with heightened energy and focus.
On the evening preceding the first day back, invest time in preparing lunch and selecting your outfit. Although seemingly minor, these tasks can significantly impact the overall morning routine, enabling you to concentrate on the day ahead without unnecessary distractions. Collectively, these meticulous preparations contribute to a sense of readiness, ensuring a successful and productive start to the new term for both educators and students alike.
- 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
In the aftermath of the festive season, a valuable approach to rekindle enthusiasm for English lessons is to guide students in reflective exercises on the preceding term or year. Encourage students to articulate their experiences, triumphs, and challenges through succinct bullet points or brief paragraphs. This reflective process not only prompts introspection but also serves as a foundation for setting constructive goals. As they contemplate their achievements and hurdles from the past year, students gain a deeper understanding of their academic journey.
Moreover, by prompting students to articulate their aspirations for the upcoming year, educators foster a sense of agency and purpose. These learning-based resolutions empower students to actively engage with their educational paths without overwhelming them. The exercise provides a structured yet flexible platform for self-discovery, allowing students to discern where they currently stand and how they envision progressing in their English language proficiency. Through this reflective and resolution-oriented approach, students re-enter English lessons with a renewed sense of purpose and an intrinsic motivation to advance their language skills.