One of the privileges within education is the annual leave that teachers receive. However, like all good things one has to go back to work.
The summer term is always the one where teachers have a big holiday of up to six weeks.Therefore, going back is not always easy. Teaching staff would normally need to arrive before the beginning of term to take part in orientation activities.
Some things to consider
1. The day before should be a relaxing one with thoughts regarding what one wants to achieve for the following year. The purpose of doing this would allow the neural pathway in the mind to start thinking work itself.
In other words you are preparing your mind for the eventuality of going into work the next day. Returning to our normal routine of early nights and waking up in the dark can induce what’s been known as ‘social jet lag’.
2. When arriving at work take your time and set up your desk space. Get a feel for the place and the environment and of course talk to your colleagues. This will enable one to feel comfortable within their surroundings. Also, communicating with other colleagues will enable you to feel in their same shoes after coming back from a big break.
3. The to do list is a vital component on day one. The to do list must contain achievable targets that could be weekly-based, monthly-based, and of course yearly-based. This list or a number of lists provide you with a platform from which you can start getting into the process of work and build motivation throughout the coming weeks.
4. Planning is like a blank canvas in the initial stages. However, I think of this blank canvas has a painting that needs to be completed. Therefore, plan your schemes of work, assessment briefs, assessment schedules and also your teaching materials accordingly.
Completing these tasks step-by-step will enable you to become positive and provide you with focus and direction. Planning is vital; the mere act of planning how to do something frees us from the burden of unfinished tasks.
5. Maintain a written journal of communication that you write to yourself and review at the end of each day. This written journal of communication will enable you to reflect on your practices both which are a strength and those that require improvement.
Educators need to be in a position where they can evaluate their performance and development according to the situation owing to the vicissitudes of the education environment itself.
6. Make sure that you take regular breaks and do not indulge in work to the extent it takes over your well-being. Therefore, have lunch. Make sure you move about as the body requires movement because staying in one position leads to aches and pains. There is nothing worse than somebody ploughing into the work and believe they’ve got so much to do and become demoralised and as a result do not complete the tasks that they’ve set out.
The new academic year brings with it many challenges and rewards. Look forward to the new academic year with positivity because with positivity further success and productivity at work is created.
Gobinder Gill is a Lecturer in Further Education who teaches on Psychology and Research Methods. He has been promoted to a Teaching and Learning Coach and helps with the performance of fellow peers within classroom practices and quality drive. Gobinder has produced research articles and published books on emotional intelligence. Further, he has conducted workshops and presented at conferences.
Gobinder Gill teaches psychology and research methods.
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