Heading back to school

After a disappointingly dreary August, September is suddenly upon us. And what does that mean? It’s time to go back to school!

A six week break from work sounds like a glorious prospect, however we all know it doesn’t quite work out that way. Technically it’s a break from day to day classroom teaching, but many teachers will have been in and out of school, lesson planning, sorting out classrooms and, for secondary, supporting students on various dreaded results days.

As the majority of schools head back this week, how do teachers ensure the transition into the 2017/18 academic year is as smooth as possible? We spoke to Anna Wells, one of the primary teachers we regularly work with, to hear how she gets ready to face a brand-new class and it’s clear that one of the biggest priorities is getting to know who’s who.

“Before they step into your classroom, I do all I can to find out about the children’s background. Are there issues at home that might affect their well-being? Do they have any needs to be catered for whilst they are learning? Is there another child they just don’t get on with? All these issues will come back to bite you if they aren’t sorted as soon as possible.”

Not only this, it’s the simple things which can really make a difference to the children’s first few days and help to make them feel comfortable and settled.

“Before the first day, I try to learn as many of the children’s names as possible, as well as some key facts about them. As much as I try, there will always be an awkward moment when two children with very similar features are standing in front of you demanding your attention!”

On top of all these, many teachers will be starting out at a new school. This comes with its own set of additional considerations and preparation. A tip for anyone starting somewhere new…

“Getting to know the school’s policies and procedures can only help make it a smooth transition from one workplace to another. From day one, you need to be following the behaviour procedure to show your new class that you are in charge. Having an awareness of the child protection and safeguarding policies are also vital, to protect you as well as the children in your care. Attending INSET at the beginning of term will usually give you all the updated information you will need for your school.”

We hope all you teachers out there have an excellent start to the year! As the new term kicks off, we’ll be regularly discussing hot topics in the education sector on the blog. It’s only just September and it seems mental health and teacher workload are going to continue to dominate the education agenda.


About the author

Jenny Anderson

Jenny has been with Hopscotch since 2015 and has extensive experience in creating and marketing award-winning education programmes. She is passionate about working with businesses to develop initiatives that are grounded in insight, inspire action and deliver impact. In her spare time, she volunteers with a local charity that provides training and jobs for refugees.

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