We’re now onto the second week of the school year which reminds me, part two of ‘Start the school year right’ is due! It has been such a blessing and a ‘professional development’ experience to hear many different ideas from teachers all around the world. So far I’ve given you nine tips from them and hope they were helpful. Please let me know if you have questions and I can possibly get the contributor to elaborate or clarify.
As you know, there’s no end to tips teachers can give and receive but I know the following ideas are sure to make you a happier & healthier teacher. Thank you to this second list of contributors. You’ve each inspired me in my teaching practice!
10. One good way to start off the year is to give the students a reminder of how much they already know, rather than throwing lots of new information at this. This way, it builds their confidence, and they can hopefully see the foundation for success in the new year has already been laid.
– Mark Sasse, High school Social Studies and Drama teacher
11. Stop at the end of day and celebrate your star moments, then also ponder and record two wishes for a better moment. Powerful mini reflection time. Build routines that help all be independent and confident in some of the daily activities. Give your students opportunities to buddy with a younger class – or ask an older class to come to you if your students are in primary. This is amazing in all subject levels.
Also check out Conscious Classroom Management by Grace Dearborn for silent instructions – she teaches high school but the ideas cross all grades with positive results.
– Carol Wyatt
Build routines that help all be independent and confident in some of the daily activities.
12. Four things: 1. Give every child a clean slate at the start of the school year. Whatever you heard or know about the child especially negative ones, they should not be carried for the new year. This is to give a child to “recreate” himself/herself and for the teacher not to have any judgments/biases on a child. 2. Give classroom rules at the start of the year. Create rules with the children. And make sure that the children know and understood these rules. 3. Lay down expectations because disappointments come from not getting what you expect. 4. Smile every time you enter the campus!
– Jennifer Silan, my former high school teacher
Give every child a clean slate at the start of the school year. Whatever you heard or know about the child especially negative ones, they should not be carried for the new year.
13. We all need time to warm up. Whether it’s going out for a run or making that morning cuppa, taking time to gather speed and avoid a sudden rush will keep the heart rate low and the soul steady. Giving students time to cover books, talk, and move around will settle new year nerves and early morning jet lag faster, helping students wind up gently to a productive pace for the year.
– Debbie Chin, High school English teacher
14. I like to play “getting to know you” and “team building” type games and include the expectations as we go also.
– Wanda Meisner
15. On the first day of class, I give each of my students an index card. On one side, they write their name and on the other side, for homework, I ask them to write anything they want to introduce themselves to me. I tell them they can write about their hometown, their family, their hobbies, their dreams or all of those things. I also encourage them to decorate the card if they like with drawings or color. The next day, I collect the cards and then use them throughout the year for calling on students, organizing students into groups, or choosing students to complete certain tasks. Also, when I have free time, I can look through the cards and review my students’ names and get to know more about who they are.
– Kristin Reimer Rojas, University English teacher
16. At the beginning of the year, I set up my anecdotal record templates by looking at the standards and writing these onto templates. I start off gathering the standards and assessment rubrics for first semester. I use the blank templates to write down observations of whether students have grasped a concept or not. It is great to look at when writing reports to see their growth and it provides you with excellent examples so you can write personalised ones. Also great to jot down students’ successes and struggles on worksheets to follow up later in the week or when you revisit the concept.
– Katrina Martine, Year 3/4 Classroom Teacher
It is great to look at when writing reports to see their growth and it provides you with excellent examples so you can write personalised ones.
17. One of my main priorities is to always try to build rapport with my students regardless of the class size or technicality of the course. At the start of the class I give them opportunities to ask me random questions about anything and I try to answer everything. Doing that gives my students the feel of openness in our student-teacher relations. Thus, making them feel comfortable with me and therefore with the things that I’ll be teaching them throughout the semester. Students become more relaxed and at ease in class. They feel safer to ask questions during lectures, which is very essential in engineering. They become less intimidated, even with some complex engineering concepts.
– Athena Lavega, Electrical Engineering University Instructor
And my favourite…
18. Fix your eyes on Jesus. We cannot teach these precious lives just with our own strength and abilities. God knows them and who they are going to become. They are His children, not ours, even for this year. So we pray, we seek Him, we ask how we can be His hands, feet and speak His words of truth into their lives this year, each and every day (especially when we are tired and got a lot on). We pray and partner in communication with their parents, sowing His love and hope into their days. We pray we can be an example of who Christ is each day, as we have this precious gift of teaching them for this one year.
– Chad Smit, Primary School Principal
Fix your eyes on Jesus. We cannot teach these precious lives just with our own strength and abilities. God knows them and who they are going to become. They are His children, not ours, even for this year.
Have an awesome year of teaching, friends!
Which of the 18 tips have you tried or are you planning to? Please let me know so I can let these amazing teachers know how they have inspired other teachers.