Summer Tips for Teachers
Now that school is either finished or almost finished it’s time to finally get into that summer mood and plan out how you will be spending your summer. Holiday? Mini break? Netflix and bed?
Although the summer holidays are for relaxing and catching up on all the sleep you’ve missed out on over the past year, it would be nice to not feel so stressed and a bit like a headless chicken once September is here. So here are some tips to help you stay organised and stress free when the new school year starts in September.
Don’t feel like you need to start straightaway. Take time out to just do nothing, after a full school year you deserve it. Once you’ve taken some time whether it’s been a few days, week or month and are now ready to start preparation for September I would suggest starting with a little reflection.
I can already hear you say, “I’ve spent the last year with evaluations, training and improvement plans” and although the thought of more can feel like a drain on your summer vibe it doesn’t need to be.
Make it more of a journal or highlight reel. Create a set of questions such as:
- What was most successful in your class this year?
- What was least successful?
- What did the children enjoy most?
- Which subject did you ace this year?
- Which subject did you not enjoy so much?
- How is your routine working? Does it need improving?
- What would you like to improve on this year?
- What would you like to try this year?
These are just a guideline and you can create questions that are more suited to you. By doing this every year it can become a highlight reel of how you have improved as a teacher, which areas still need improving, which areas you can now take off the list as you are acing it and whether there’s something you would like to try but simply never get around to doing it. This may end up being that push for you to finally try it out next year. Also, by adding photos of your class it can become a nice trip down memory lane for you each year and less like another assessment.
The word organisation will either fill you with excited or dread, if you are the latter you can easily ignore this step or do little and often to avoid a panic at the end of August.
With minimal distractions apart from the beach and your bed, summer is the perfect time to start getting yourself organised for September so that you can enjoy the last few days of summer whilst your fellow teachers are running around getting last minute supplies.
If your allowed in school over summer you could organise your filing system, if the thought of being at school before you must doesn’t appeal. Why not do something constructive from your bed and organise your digital files into subject, sets and clearing out those files you have already used or will never use.
Summer is also a great time to improve or completely overhaul your current organisation system. Perhaps get rid of those old binders you’ve had for years or even purchase your first ones with more detailed sections so it’s easier to find what you need. For example, Pupil data binders are great for those pupil meetings that pop up last minute.
Although things change, lesson plans don’t happen, or you suddenly must add something in extra. Getting your lesson plans completed before the start of the school year will save you a whole lot of time once the school year starts.
You don’t need to complete your lesson plans for the whole year, even the first few weeks or first term will help you feel less stressed once September comes around.
If the thought of completing a years’ worth of detailed lesson plans fills you with dread perhaps have an excel sheet outlining the themes of each lesson so when you do get around to the detailed lesson plans you know exactly what to plan for that week.
If this system doesn’t suit you, another method is to focus on each subject area. You could plan out that subject area for the next month, term or year. But if you are like me I prefer the first system as I would spend so much time on one subject that another would get neglected by the time September comes around.
The last method is for those of you new to the profession or will be having a new key stage level in September. Before the summer starts plan a meeting with your teacher team, or a teacher currently teaching your new key stage level. Look over curriculum standards and share lesson plan ideas. This way you will feel so much better when it comes to planning your lessons during the summer.
When it comes to creativity it’s not just the children that get all the fun. One of the highlights of starting a new academic year is the opportunity to redesign your classroom, try out new decorations, and maybe even create some neat corners such as little library corner. There are a whole host of ideas you can try out and get your creative juices following over the summer. Pinterest is brilliant for getting those ideas started.
- You could create a weekly lesson storage unit
- A neat basket for homework hand ins
- Classroom door hanger for all your supplies
There are plenty of ideas for you to pick and choose what works best for you. Staffroom’s Pinterest account has boards on Classroom Organisation, Library and Decoration. If you are wondering where to start, it’s a pretty could place to start.
It’s very tempting during the summer months to sit on a beach, with a cocktail and that book you’ve been dying to read all year. That is something you should definitely do but perhaps in amongst your reading list for the summer add in a few professional studies. Regardless of whether you’ve been in the profession 5 years or 25 years, there are always new studies and new things to learn as a teacher, this way you’ll be clued up when it comes to September.
And that concludes my Summer Tips for Teachers. You can do all of them or just one, at least incorporating some of these tips into your summer holidays will ensure a great start to the school year in September. Summer for teachers is what January is for everyone else, a time for reflection, resolutions, improvement and change.
What do you do to prepare yourself for the new school year? We would love to hear from you. Comment below or tweet us at Staffroomed your tips and tricks to help you get September ready.