2017 is coming to an end, thus begins and time of rest and reflection… before the major partying can begin! This year has been an interesting one for education, with the switch to a numerical grading system for some GSCE papers, the ongoing recruitment crisis…etc
So, what can be learned from this year and what are the top tips going forward into 2018? After scouring a few sources, we think we’ve gathered the best advice going forward into January.
Recently, research has come forward, showing that students are more likely to go to teachers or parents for careers advice rather than an actual careers consultant, so being there to help your students find their right career path is crucial.
While many secondary school students may feel pressure to apply to university, it’s important to make sure they know that it isn’t the only option for school leavers, or that not going to or getting into university is a poor decision. There are plenty of other options, such as apprenticeships or training to also set young people on a good path for the future. And if they are interested in university, making sure they’re booking open days and researching courses with plenty of time before the UCAS deadline every January is a must.
When to Praise?
Every day there seems to be a new study or article about how much you should be praising your pupils, leading to a lot of general confusion around the subject. So how do you know if you’re over-praising, or if you’re not praising enough? Regardless of the age of a pupil, one good tip is to make sure praise contains specific feedback to the task, i.e what they are doing right and what should be done to make sure they keep doing well.
Praising effort and good behaviour is also very important. While praising high achievement is great, letting pupils know that they can achieve more and that they’re on the right track is important to help students strive to attain more and not be discouraged.
Professor of cognitive psychology Daniel T Willingham writes that, “To motivate students… teachers need to avoid praise that is not truthful … or has not been earned,” so finding the right balance is key.
Settling in to new school year
When it comes to teaching in the new school year, getting everyone settled in can be tricky in both Primary and Secondary schools.
For 11-year olds, starting big school can be a scary prospect. Many worry about making friends, finding their way around and just being in such a different environment, so helping them break the ice with a few settling in activities can do wonders, especially if you’re a new form tutor.
For younger students moving into different primary school years, making them immediately aware of new responsibilities and behaviour expected of them is important, and for new students entering reception, be prepared for the wave of separation anxiety from young children on the first couple of days. Don’t be surprised if you receive a few phone calls from parents of young children during the school day checking to see if they’ve calmed down, a child’s first day at school is a big step for both of them.
Managing the stress of the job
Teaching is one of the most demanding positions out there and while we know that your students will be a top priority for you, making sure that you’re also managing your own time and stress is helpful to everyone. If you’re not functioning at 100%, then how can your students possibly be? Just taking little actions everyday like making sure you’re not constantly eating lunch at your desk, making sure to prioritise your tasks, and that you’re getting enough sleep, can be a big help in the long run.
Finding the source of some of your stresses isn’t a fun task, but once you know what they are, working out ways to manage them becomes a heck of a lot easier.
As we enter the new year, remember to keep being the best teacher you can be as we all know that your students are going to be grateful for your teaching one day… even if they don’t seem so keen on you now.
Looking for a job in teaching for the new year? Check out our vacancies page for more information or call us on: 0203 846 7111.