Bright Teachers

Teaching, educationand education aides blog

Teacher time management

As a teacher, managing your time effectively is crucial to allow you to do everything you need to. There is so much work to do even after the class has gone home, that if you do not find ways to manage your time you will often be working late in to the night and every weekend.

Not only managing your time in your job, but also making sure that you have time for yourself.

It is easy to forget about your home life and spend all your days working but this can lead to high stress levels and overworking can make you become ill.

All teachers are now given something called PPA time which is supposed to be the time in the classroom without the children, where they can mark or plan work. Unfortunately, this time often gets eaten up by other things, you may be asked to cover another class or have a student sent to sit with you who is being disruptive in their own class. If this happens you should be given more PPA time that week to allow you to catch up, but that is not always the case. Ideally you should split your week up in to time marking, time planning and preparing and time to yourself.

Getting ready for the summer break

Many teachers are now on the wide down to summer holidays and looking forward to the 6 week break. This last week or so in school can be quite hard work as not only are the children often worn out and ready for a break but there is usually a lot of disruption. You may have sports days, taster lessons in their new classes, team treats and end of year assemblies to fit in on top of your normal lessons and marking. You will also have to start to think about the new class that you will be teaching and start to make changes to the classroom in readiness for September.

Many schools have a PD day just after the children officially break up to give them time to start to organise their new class, so it is often advisable to wait until then to make any change to displays, drawers and seating arrangements.

The children can often get a bit disruptive during the last few weeks of terms so it is important to plan activities that will allow them to have some fun but also that are structured to ensure that you keep control of the class.

Helping students with their GCSE’s

It’s that time of the year again when students need to do their GCSE exams and this can be extremely stressful not just for students but for teachers as well. All teachers want their students to do well and they will worry if they have taught them everything they need to know and in a way which they will remember it.

It is important to help manage student’s worries over exams as it can have a massive effect on them and this can not only affect their performance in the exams but also their mental wellbeing. If a student displays worries about exams that seem a little more concerning that normal then you need to act quick and get them the right help and support they need. Sometimes a quick chat will help put them at ease other times you may need to get other people involved to ensure that the student is ok.

GCSE’s are very important but there are other options available to students who do not obtain the grades they achieve. If for exam they need certain grades to be able to get into sixth form then they can apply to the school discussing what results they got to see if they may still consider them. If not, they can apply to colleges who will either allow them to re-sit their GCSE’s or put them on other courses using the grades they currently have.  

How to make an impression as a new head teacher

As a head teacher coming in to a new school, you may worry about the first impressions you make. You cannot go back and redo first impressions so it is vital that you get it right from the get go. The first term is your time to make your mark and you need to think carefully about what, if any changes you want to make. If you have been bought in to a school to turn it around (following a poor Ofsted report for example) then you may need to come in quite hard and fast making a number of big chances very quickly. You will need to be prepared that this may ruffle some feathers and you will often get the impression that you are not well liked but you need to keep in mind the main focus of the situation.
If the school is currently doing well then it may not be wise to come in heavy handed and make a large number of changes. Instead you may want to evaluate the situation first before deciding what you want to do. Take time to get to know the staff, the children and also their parents as ultimately it will be their support that you need in the future.

Help for teachers with pupil behaviour

Behaviour in the classroom can have a massive effect on education. Bad behaviour can not only disrupt the education of the child who is not behaving but also of the rest of the class. If as a teacher you are finding that behaviour issues are coming up time and time again then you need to act quickly to avoid further disruption and to get the class back under control.

One idea which has been tried and tested at a number of schools is the traffic light system. This allows all the children to start the day or week on a green card. If they behave well then they will remain on green, if they misbehave then they will often be given an orange or amber card. If this behaviour is repeated again they may find themselves on a red card. The good thing about this method is that it is visual and not only to the child who’s behaviour is not acceptable but to the rest of the class.

It is often suggested that rather than singling one or two pupils out to put on a reward system, it is better to do it for the whole case so that all the pupils know that the teacher has the same expectations for everyone. This means that no child should feel singled out and that they understand everyone has to abide by the same terms.