How are you feeling about the new term? While the Autumn Term can have its challenges, it can also be pivotal in setting the tone for the rest of your year and in building strong relationships with your students.
Below are some of my top tips on how to have a successful start to your academic year.
1. Set up and enforce consistent classroom routines
Our priority as teachers always is with our students- their happiness, their progress and ultimately their future success. Setting out clear expectations and routines for classroom behaviour helps your students know where they stand, and in turn help them feel more at ease.
For example, if students know they are expected to put their hand up if they want to answer a question, and you consistently reinforce this with positive praise, it will eventually become a habit. However, if you start to allow students to shout out answers, this can quickly undo a lot of your hard work. You have decided on these routines for a reason, and a little perseverance and consistency goes a long way!
2. Invest time in communication
Although Autumn term is often busy, it also provides the opportunity to establish positive working relationships both within school, and outside of it. Starting the year off by making positive phone calls home for students can make a huge difference to their behaviour and motivation, and can also work to improve your relationship with them in the classroom.
Equally, spending time with your colleagues, whether that be to share some best practice, or just to grab lunch together when you get the chance, can do wonders for your confidence. Particularly if you are starting in a new school, your colleagues can make or break your time there, so make the most of them!
3. Find an organisational method that works for you, and stick with it
As a self-confessed Type-B teacher, the thought of a to-do list makes me shudder. I have met teachers who are organisational powerhouses, whose teacher planners look like they belong on Instagram, and whose resources are meticulously categorised and filed away for future use. And that works for them.
As someone who finds organisation, or rather, committing to a method of organisation, much more difficult, I have to be realistic with myself, and choose a method I know that is so simple, I will not lose interest after a week or two. Therefore, I just use a simple, dated to-do list, to make sure I do not forget any important tasks, and can see what needs to be completed on a daily, and weekly basis.
My point being is that you do not need to commit to having a bullet-journal-esque planner, with meticulous detail about your term. If you are not going to stick to it consistently throughout the term, you’re likely wasting your time. Do what works for you, and stick to it, so you can hold yourself accountable throughout the year.
Ella Burandt is a Geography teacher and a second-year participant on the Teach First programme.
Are you looking for ideas on how to build strong relationships with your students this Autumn Term? Our FREE teacher resources and icebreaker games are a quick and easy way for you to learn more about your students.