As the new academic year approaches, hundreds and thousands of Newly Qualified Teachers will be backing boards, moving tables and preparing for their first ever class that is officially theirs. It is time to go it alone and with this comes excitement, but also anxiety, worry and a little bit of fear.
Over the years, I have created a number of videos that focus on various key aspects of teaching and classroom life. I have compiled the most NQT relevant posts and included them in this article for you to digest. Hopefully, this will take you through a few key areas to consider when preparing for the new school year and your first ever class!
Instagram is full of teachers sharing ideas, displays and teaching resources for other fellow teaching enthusiasts to see. But, many accounts share unrealistic expectations on what your classroom 'should' look like which, as with many other social media streams, can cause stress, anxiety and make teachers feel that they are failing compared to others. However, if you filter through the glitter and triple backed displays, you can find teachers who are doing a great job at sharing some amazing teaching ideas that you can easily apply into your own schools and classrooms.
Teachers workload is too much. One contributing factor to this is that they tend to spend more time creating content and resources than actually teaching the children. Too much planning effects teacher wellbeing. We always strive to make sure our lessons are as engaging as possible but finding the happy medium between engaging resource lessons and a work life balance can be challenging.
Flexible resources can be used in a variety of creative ways across subjects and the curriculum. By creating a bank of flexible resources overtime, you build a toolbox of engaging activities that can be used in all areas of the curriculum - saving you both time and printing credits! So here are my top five flexible resources that all teachers should have in their resource toolbox.
'Hello hello teachers of the world – how are you keeping?'
Or maybe that is a bit of a silly question these days. I say that because it’s often met with a grunt or a sigh or a raised eyebrow or even, sometimes, an exaggerated glare. Regardless, I will continue asking because I like to know what’s going on. Some will share about how the queue at the local supermarket is still long and slow, others will say that they are about to throw their laptop out of their recently converted home office, some will say that their neighbour is playing the guitar too loudly and then you might find one or two who will share that they are absolutely loving the evening walks with family. They might even whisper it with a sense of slight guilt. There is something different about these people.
In the busy world of teaching, with huge teacher workloads, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for teachers to spend time on their own professional development. However, during school closures, lockdowns and social distancing people are looking ways of killing time and supporting their wellbeing. Dedicating time to your own professional development can majorly support your wellbeing. A number of websites and resources are offering discounted and free webinars and online courses. I thought I would share a few fantastic PD opportunities I have come across.
Young children are not going to sit and listen to 30 minute teacher videos. Keep teacher input as concise and as short as possible. Plan lessons with lots of activities for children to complete. This will reduce screen time and keep children engaged for longer.
Learning Objectives, Success Criteria and Steps to Success can be used very effectively to support students learning if used correctly. Schools can sometimes lose focus on what the purpose of each is which can hinder learning and confuse children. In this video, I try to break down with each one to ensure each has a clear focus and purpose in your lessons.
'Turning teachers into teams' is the slogan that pops up on Teacherly's homepage. I always get excited at the prospect of allowing teachers to collaborate more and work more effectively. When teachers work together and share ideas - great things happen! Teacherly aims to do this by providing an online platform where resources, planning and ideas are shared easily whilst linking teachers together through collaborative discussion.
Achieving a healthy work-life-balance as a school teacher can be extremely difficult. As I welcome questions from new teachers through my various social media outlets, finding a healthy work-life- balance is something I am continually asked about. In the same way your lessons are differentiated to suit a range of learning styles, you need to find a method of self-care that works for you as an individual. Here are some of the top tips I have tried to stick to over the last six years I have spent working as a school teacher.
Preparing for lessons can seem like a complex and daunting task, especially on a late Sunday evening when a new school week is looming. As a new teacher, you may also find yourself trying to fulfil a never-ending tick box list of things to include in your lessons - especially when being observed. This can actually act as a blocker for designing well focused and planned learning opportunities. But, by asking these 7 simple questions you can focus your attention on what really matters to help you refine and fine-tune your day to day teaching and lessons.
WAGOLL Teaching is all about sharing great, simple teaching ideas with a global teaching community. As a teaching group, we need to stick together, support each other and develop positive approaches to classroom innovation. Development is all about trying something new, taking risks and sharing great ideas! you may even have some fun along the way!