What will you do differently durning this school year?
Usually, September is the month of the new beginnings for teachers and students. Each beginning is an opportunity to look back and make some new decisions. I will present here some ideas on how to reflect and make plans for the upcoming teaching period.
List the previous success.
We usually start by looking at negative aspects or we take success for granted. Did you manage to stay on track with teaching and adapt to a new situation? Did you manage to find a way to have a job in these uncertain times? Are your students content with your teaching? These may look like an obvious achievement, but it is also something worth noticing and celebrating.
Write the list of skills you can trust.
Our grounding point is all we know we can do. Maybe you will start teaching in a new school, maybe you will start new curricula or meet new students. When we are at the beginning it is important to center ourselves starting from what we know that we do well. Some of those skills are knowledge about the subject, communication skills in the classroom, creating an interesting presentation, using one ICT tool…
What was uncomfortable?
Of course, as classes unfold some aspects we would like to change- it is uncomfortable. Maybe it is relation with certain students, colleagues. Or it was challenging to keep boundaries between working hours and free time. Or the new online way of working was difficult. Looking closely at this list should help us to discover areas we need to change or to find new ways of dealing with it.
What are the skills I want to develop?
Based on the areas we want to change we can list skills we would like to develop- time management, new teaching methods, communication, keeping up with our subject. You may look at the EPALE calendar to see if there are any events that would be a good fit for your CPD plan.
What are the habits that help me prevent burnout and exhaustion?
Stress tends to cumulate fast and as long as we cannot avoid it we may learn how to destress. What helps you to reset yourself- keep you energized and engaged in teaching? Everything matters-physical activity, venting with colleagues, positive feedback from students and colleagues, firm boundaries for free time…. Keep the list updated and near so you can easily remind yourself how to destress.
Tell us in the comments if you have some ritual for starting a new teaching cycle.