Summer is wrapping up and, for some, the beginning of a new academic year is almost here. Time to leave behind the holidays and prepare for school again. It might feel a bit challenging after taking a break, but getting ready for the new school year can make things much easier for both you and your students. Here are some top back to school tips to help you feel prepared and start the school year on the right foot.
Back to school tips for a great start to the school year
1. Recycle your best activities
Every teacher has some activities that always work. Maybe it’s a fun warmer activity, an end-of-class revision game, a certain topic for a group talk or an engaging speaking activity. Remember the games and activities your students loved before? Use them again! These activities can fit into many lessons and are great for keeping students engaged, motivated and keen to learn.
If you’re beginning with new students, try the activities that worked before and find out what your new class loves.
2. Reflect on last term
Last term, you likely had some things that worked well and some that didn’t. What could you change? What should you do again? These could be activities, the way a lesson was delivered or different forms of classroom management, for example. By reflecting on these things, you can improve your lessons for both you and your learners. Take what you already do, or have done, and make it even more enjoyable.
3. Use technology – get prepared.
There are many online tools that can help you in class and make your lessons more dynamic. Websites like Kahoot let you make quizzes, Quizlet helps with study cards, and Mentimeter is good for getting everyone’s opinion or ratings. Check these online tools out before school starts. See what you like, what your students might enjoy and how you’re going to use them in your lessons. Be sure to have an account ready for the platforms you decide to use, so you don’t need to waste time signing up later in the term.
4. Get together the stationery you need
The beginning of a new academic year is a busy time. You need to be prepared and have everything to hand, not only for you but also for your learners. Students are bound to forget a pen, a ruler, a pencil or some paper, or all of these things! Have extras of everything you might need to make sure you’re prepared for every situation, and so that you also have everything that you might need, too.
5. Learn about the latest teaching trends
If you’re going to be using digital course material, such as online practice and e-books, with your students and you want to track their progress, make sure you’re set up on the relevant digital platforms in advance to save time.
Here you will find new teaching ideas and what’s trending in the English language learning world. By doing this, you can include new themes and topics into your lessons, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), soft skills or mediation, for example. These skills can not only help students discuss important topics in the classroom but are crucial to building students’ future skills outside of the classroom.
6. Don’t forget to look after yourself
The beginning of a new academic year is not just about the students, it’s also about you as the teacher, and making sure you look after your wellbeing during busy periods. Being a teacher is busy, but it’s crucial to remember to also look after yourself.
Make sure to take short breaks during your day. Try to schedule when you’ll lesson plan and be sure to fit in the time when you’ll be able to check students’ work. If you ever feel like it’s too busy, take a short walk and step away for a moment – It’s a good way to relax, think and get some perspective. For more information on teacher wellbeing, check out this blog.
Back to school means a new start for both you and your students. With some planning, and these helpful back to school tips, it can be fun and exciting! An opportunity to try new things (and repurposed or recycled things) in the classroom. With some preparation, you can feel prepared for the term and year, so that when school starts, you’ll feel worry and stress-free.
What other top back to school tips do you have for teachers beginning a new academic year?
Share your ideas in the comments below!