BACK TO SCHOOL, BACK TO REALITY MINUS THE MONOTONY!
Newly pressed outfits, mark books kitted out in the funkiest new paper and meal prep for break time has commenced, dear teachers. Every new year is all about fresh starts and new year’s resolutions, but the secret is to be a successful, fun and sustainable educator. All of us can bear witness to that ONE teacher that we have all had to start our year with that sounds like a broken monotone record whose idea of making teaching exciting, is reading aloud from the textbook and writing the same comment when marking work to “motivate” their students – soul destroying!
For the youth of today, living in a technologically driven and ever-changing world of trends, we as teachers must step up and meet the expectation of really making the world a fun learning environment. But how do we refuse to be boring and not resort to falling back into that old habit of monotony?
Let 2018 be the new beginning that you have been waiting for to transform yourself into that fabulous educator that will be first in line to win the award for most loved and creative educator. Making teaching fun isn’t all about interactive lessons and being your students’ best friend. It is about stimulating the mind and this is a two way street. The following back to school tips might just be what you are looking for to excel in your classroom and to motivate your students to achieve the potential that you know they are capable of.
Discover new things
It’s much more fun for both parties when students and teachers learn new things together. Your job is, of course, to educate, but why can’t that process include the joy of shared discovery? Make a point each day of letting down your authoritative guard, humbling yourself and enjoying the lifelong journey together – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Rediscover your humour and show you care
Let your hair down and make fun of yourself once in a while – especially in the first few weeks of settling into a new routine and a new group of students. The only constant is change, as we are all aware. Don’t worry about sacrificing your authority. In fact, the latest research says authority stems from showing you care about your students and making them laugh and feel good is one way to do that. Remember those endorphins and you don’t need Virgin Active for that!
Avoid getting stuck in a rut
If you feel yourself slipping into a rut, spending the same hours exactly the same way each day, stop and reassess your teaching process. It’s so easy to let it all become automatic AND overly dramatic, especially after twenty-plus years in the field and to use the same lessons and techniques year after year with different students. But if it’s not fun for you, it won’t be fun for your students either. Make an effort to be fresh, try new things, take risks, make mistakes, enjoy the moment.
Let your students know you believe in them
Naturally, we can believe in learners all we want to. But, take it one step further and let your learners know you believe in them. Provide personalised sticky notes, make phone calls to the parents and pull students aside at the beginning or end of class to let them know that you’re in their corner.
Get more adults involved
Teachers are the first responders for student achievement, but they aren’t the only ones with skin in the game. Recruit additional support from parents, counsellors, administrators and fellow teachers who may also interact with your students. Two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to maintaining your sanity.
Don’t overthink things and remember to always just be yourself in the classroom. Always remember to bring humour into the classroom. School needs to be a work hard/play hard situation for all parties. If you take teaching and life too seriously, you will never get out alive. Good luck and be the best version of yourself to guide your students to being the achievers you want them to be!