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Making the Most of the Back-to-School Period: Tips for Teachers

  • Date: Sep 07, 2023
  • Author: Chloe Meredith
  • Tags: Back-to-School,Teacher,Tips,SupplyTeaching,ClassroomTips

As the school year begins, teachers, support staff, and students may feel excited or apprehensive about the transition from the summer holidays to the new academic year. Teachers may be wondering how to get the most out of the first few weeks of term and ensure that all elements come together to create an effective learning environment where students can thrive. This blog post will provide tips for teachers on how to make the most of the first few weeks of term, including establishing routines, building relationships, utilising technology, and developing a community within the classroom. 

Tips for Teachers

Establish Routines

Establishing a routine can help to instil order and discipline within the classroom. Teachers should begin by setting up a classroom schedule, and create a routine for daily activities. Additionally, they should set expectations for students and provide clear guidelines for classroom behaviour. For example, teachers may want to create a classroom culture where the student's voice is respected and their ideas are provided with a platform.

Creating and expressing clear rules and expectations provides a framework for appropriate behaviour. To further reinforce this, teachers could introduce classroom management strategies to encourage desirable behaviours and discourage undesirable ones. Using visual cues can be effective, for example, placing a chart with expectations in an easy-to-access spot. Teachers can then use a points-based system to track behaviour and provide rewards as an incentive for desired outcomes.

Build Relationships

Building relationships is essential, as it provides students with an environment where they feel appreciated, seen, and heard. Teachers should begin by getting to know their students and showing genuine interest in their lives and learning styles. This can be achieved by providing opportunities for students to talk about themselves and their interests, either in class or through one-on-one conversations. Valuing students' backgrounds and respecting their differences will establish trust and respect. 

Additionally, teachers could introduce icebreaker activities to foster a sense of safety and connection. This will make it easier for students to relax and open up while interacting with their classmates. Through these activities, students will develop a sense of community, become more comfortable, and talk more freely about their opinions and ideas.

Utilise Technology

Technology has become an integral part of the classroom learning experience and provides students the opportunity to gain skills essential to their future success. As such, teachers should explore online resources that provide valuable resources and tools to help students excel. Teachers should also take advantage of digital tools to support learning. From interactive worksheets and videos to virtual field trips, technology can help to make learning more engaging and inviting. 

In order to do this, teachers should set up a digital classroom. This could include the use of laptops, tablets, multi-screen displays, and other technology devices. Furthermore, teachers should train students on the use of digital tools, as well as ensure they understand the rules and expectations for technology use.

Develop Community

Creating a community within the classroom will help to create a supportive learning environment where students feel safe and engaged. Teachers should begin by introducing team-building activities and having students work together in groups. This will promote a culture of collaboration and nurture relationships between students.

Additionally, teachers can create a sense of community by fostering responsible decision-making. This could include engaging students in discussions about the problems they face in the classroom and encouraging conversation about possible solutions. This helps to promote critical thinking and instil responsibility in students.

Finally, teachers should create an atmosphere of safety and belonging. This could include identifying and discussing sensitive topics, such as bullying, in order to create an environment where all students are respected and diverse viewpoints are shared.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, creating an effective learning environment in the first weeks of school is essential. Teachers should consider establishing routines, building relationships, utilising technology, and developing community within the classroom. This combination of strategies will allow educators to make the most of the first few weeks of school and create a safe, supportive, and engaging classroom environment for students. 

We would love to hear from fellow educators about their own experiences. Please let us know which strategies have been most effective in your classroom. 

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