Top Apps and Tips for the New Term
Holidays are an oasis for a busy teacher. A well-deserved break and opportunity to relax, unwind and focus on family, friends and – yourself! We hope – if you are on holiday – that you are taking some time-out from all things school-related, and having a super time! In the next couple of weeks, your mind will inevitably return to classroom preparation and the hustle and bustle of organising for the new school year.
If you want something done well, ask a busy person to do it, right? With lesson planning, homework, marking…and much, much more besides, teachers pretty much – rock! And we don’t have to tell you that teachers are always busy people! But there are super technological solutions that can make your life just that bit easier and help you be even more efficient.
With the countdown already on for the first day of term, here are our top tips for preparing for the new academic year – as ever with a digital twist!
1) Get organised: There are a lot of digital organisation solutions for teachers out there, some are better than others, but you can be sure that there will be a number of apps that can make your professional life easier. Whether it be to effectively organise students attendance, lesson planning, or communicating with parents, it’s worth trying out a few to see which ones resonate with your professional practice. Check out some of our all-time best productivity apps here.
2) Establish clear home/work boundaries: It’s hard not to take work home – pretty much impossible when you’re a teacher! Whether it be lesson planning, marking or communication with parents, make sure you establish some rules with yourself around when, and where you work. It’s useful for yourself, and your family to have some no-work time and it’s also important to establish an area of the home where you work. Trello is a super solution for establishing organisation for both home and school, allowing you to set up separate organisation boards and to-do lists for both.
3) Familiarise yourself with your new class: Although it’s important to take account of all the information you will have been passed on from former class teachers – to inform planning for individual children and classroom set-up – try to find out some additional interesting information about your pupils that will allow you to really connect with them. Remember, a new academic year can be the fresh start that a pupils needs, so give them a chance for a fresh start – with you. Awesome Note is a great tool for noting important class information, or making a note of pupil birthdays!
4) Remind yourself just how awesome you are: Before you go back to school – and before you start doubting how you’re going to handle your new class – read through some of the children’s notes and parent thank you cards from past years. It’s a sure-fire way to jog your memory into remembering just how great a teacher you really are, and why you truly love your profession
5) Take some ME time: Before you head back to school, plan some time into your day to re-connect with yourself. Teachers who practice mindfulness have more mental clarity and flexibility, are better able to listen and as a result, make better decisions. Stop, Breathe & Think is a free mindfulness and meditation app that allows for taking a few minutes each day to feel the calm is as important as regular exercise to reduce stress at work and increase engagement and creativity.
Good luck with getting prepared for the new term in your school!