Monthly Archives: January 2014

A new year, a fresh start

As everyone counts down to return to school this week I ponder on what I have learned in the last 6 months of casual teaching and what can I do better this year.

I don’t have the anxiety/excitement of first day nerves as I don’t have a permanent position yet.  However, I watch lots of young friends who are starting in year 7 this year get ready and see their excitement grow, whilst their mums become more and more anxious with each day that brings them closer to their child entering the new stage of their education.

There are many things I want to do in the classroom which, as a casual, just can’t happen. You only have 50 minutes with the students and may not see them again for many weeks, so getting to know them and really understanding their likes, dislikes, how they learn, what they want to learn, is challenging to say the least.

The challenge, most days, lies in classroom management and just getting them to do some work.  

For now, I will continue to ponder; I will spend time observing other teachers, how they interact, how they plan, how they organise themselves; I will work on my little pro formas and scaffolds that I’m creating for the day I eventually have a class; and I’ll read as much as I can on PBL, literacy circles and gamification in the classroom so that when the time finally comes, I hit the floor running.

Enjoy the new year of learning.


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Return to School for students

It is return to school time once more.  

For parents and students this is a handy time to revisit organisation, study tips and just how to cover books.  I’m a big fan of colour coding myself – colour the timetable the same as the colours of your books and match everything up. 

I’ve listed some past blogs with my 4 tips for returning to school to help you on your way. 

Return to School Tip #1

Return to School Tip #2

Return to School Tip #3

Return to School Tip # 4

Another tip to add on to last year’s tips – parents, please, don’t tell your kids that you hated a subject when you were at school, or the subject was hard, or you hated Shakespeare, or what they are learning is irrelevant.  Students bring that negatitivity into the classroom with them.  Let’s support them by being positive about what they are learning.  Their experiences will be different to your experiences, give them the chance to grow and love their subjects.

Enjoy a year of learning and happy 2014.

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