Starting school is recognised as a nerve-wracking time for new students. They are stepping into the great unknown, with only myths and rumours to guide their preparation. But often it is the new teachers who can be as nervous as their students. Standing at the head of a classroom with thirty young children gazing up at you expectantly can be as daunting a task as any. Responsibility and pressure is thrust onto your shoulders from the off, but these tips should help you glide through the year like a seasoned pro.
1) Go Digital
When you picture the stereotypical teacher’s desk you see an Everest of books, paperwork and God knows what else. A black hole that sucks in your work, never to be seen again. But with a simple swipe of a tablet or laptop, the clutter is gone. Filing and marking on technology will de-clutter your desk quicker than you can say “I’ve lost your book”. Less clutter means better organisation, which means you’re on top of your teaching schedule. Using technology need not stop at organisation, though. There are a million ways to make your lessons more exciting and engaging only a mouse click away. From interactive animations, to Google Earth, to My Maths, there are all sorts of resources you can tap into. The internet has it all. In fact, you can even use technology to consolidate what you do in the classroom by sharing notes and articles with your students online via sites such as DropBox.
2) Be Comfortable
Whether you’re walking between periods or teaching your class, you will spend most of the day on your feet. Whilst your comfort may seem like a minor issue, if your feet starting crying out at overuse, your day could turn from a walk in the park to a trudge up a mountain. This not only makes the day close to unbearable, it also makes you less likely to be your usual effervescent self and so your teaching will suffer. But worry not! Style does not have to fall victim to comfort. Find the right footwear and you will be walking on clouds all year.
It is only natural for rookie teachers to want to impress. But often working hard into the night to finish marking those last essays can be counter-intuitive. Tiredness will directly inhibit your teaching in much the same way as point 2. The teaching day will stretch out interminably before you and the temptation will be to assign your students some silent work and then sit at your desk in a stupor, dozing the day away. Of course, there are times when burning the midnight oil will be unavoidable. But by prioritising sleep over that last test you have to mark, your high standard of teaching will never waver and you will impress students and other teachers alike all year round.
When people talk of decorating classrooms your thoughts may immediately leap to pre-school and toddlers. But no person is too old to benefit from a vibrant workspace. A grey and dingy classroom is no place for your exciting lessons. The effect of entering an exciting and engaging room on a student is immeasurable. And the possibilities are almost endless! Displays don’t have to just be decorative, though. They can motivate and educate. Quotes and posters are great starting points for class discussions, and how about creating an area for banned words to hone your students’ vocabulary? The walls of your classroom are your canvases and you are Leonardo da Vinci. Get to work!
5) Have fun
This point may come with all the cheesy optimism of a High School Musical classroom and there are certain to be days when you can’t think of anything less fun than teaching to your class of loud, excitable 12 year olds. But on the whole, if you enjoy your lessons, chances are your students will too. And if your lessons are enjoyable students will bounce into your class, they will engage and contribute more and ultimately they will learn a hell of a lot more. Having fun does not necessarily mean playing games or making posters. Simply fostering a lighthearted and relaxed atmosphere will go a long way. So suck it up, put on a brave face and your teaching will soar to new heights.
For more tips please visit our home page and sign up for free educational advice.