Class Professionals Blog

Practical and simple recruitment solutions for the education and childcare sectors

NEW YEAR–NEW START–TOP TIPS FOR TEACHERS

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Going back to school after the long summer break is just as nerve-wracking, exciting and hectic for the teaching staff as it is for the students. 

Getting back into the habit of speed eating, bladder control, shoelace tying and problem solving is just the beginning!

For first year teachers who have no real idea of what it takes to actually teach, they will come to realise quickly that not all ideas are going to work and may be great in theory.  Even a veteran teacher who has a pretty good idea of what they need to do will still make a few tweaks and adjustments to their overall approach in the first few weeks.

Listed below are a few ‘back to school’ tips that you may find useful.

REFLECT ON THE PAST

Experience is the ultimate learning tool – a new graduate is very likely to learn more in their first few weeks of teaching than they did whilst still studying, and for teachers with more than one years experience, reflecting on the past can be invaluable.

Great teachers are constantly looking for new ideas and methods and you should never be afraid to try something new.  You will very quickly learn whether it works or not.  Allow these experiences to shape your teaching methods.

IT'S A NEW YEAR

Never come into a school year or classroom with pre-conceived ideas – start with a clear outlook.  Each student that walks into your classroom should have a fresh start and you should too.  In fact, start every day with a clean slate!

SET GOALS

Your students should have a very clear idea of goals to be reached, and you should also set goals for yourself to improve in areas of weakness.  Set the goals together with your students to ensure that you all work harder to obtain them.  It is essential that you set high goals and expectations for all your students to start with – they can always be tweaked to suit individuals who may have different needs later on.

BE PREPARED

As you all know teaching goes far beyond the hours of normal school day.  It takes many hours of preparation to be effective in the classroom, and a smooth year begins with preparation, preparation and more preparation!

SET THE TONE

Make sure that you establish a solid relationship with your students as soon as possible, but at the same time show them that you are the one ‘in charge!’  It is important in the first few days to set out your expectations, procedures and goals.  Make things clear from the start – it may seem like you are being a disciplinarian but you can ease off as you move throughout the year.

MAKE CONTACT

It’s always a good idea to make the effort to contact parents in the early stages to let them know that their child’s best interests and education are paramount to you.  Establishing trustworthy relationships with parents early on can only be a good thing for any future issues.  Parents can be your biggest ally or your biggest enemy!

PLAN  AHEAD

It’s not easy but planning ahead does become easier if you keep on top of it.  Keep lesson plans from the previous year so that they can be used/modified for the upcoming year.  Classroom events can be planned months in advance and copies of lesson plans/worksheets can be made in advance too.  If you are clear about your lesson plans, it also make continuity easier for any relief teachers that may need to replace/support you in times of emergency.

Welcome Back!

ENCOURAGING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR

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We found some great tips on the Raising Children Network parenting website, for encouraging positive behaviour. 

  1. Children do as you do so always behave in a manner you would like your children to follow. 
  2. Show your children how you feel, if they have upset you, then tell them why in a simple way they will understand, instilling empathy at a young age is important. 
  3. Catch them being ‘good’ and praise them immediately.
  4. Get down to your child’s level it always seems less intimidating. 
  5. Keep promises and stick to agreements.
  6. Choose your battles.
  7. Whining: be strong and don't give in!
  8. Responsibility and consequences. 
  9. Say it once and move on.
  10. Make your child feel important.
  11. Above all - maintain a sense of humour!

Also included is a video link that explains the above tips in an entertaining format.  Check it out at http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/encouraging_behaviour_video.html

WHAT MAKES A GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR CHILDCARE CENTRE?

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What is a Learning Environment?

A learning environment is the physical environment available to children within your centre. This includes any indoor and outdoor space, built or natural, which can provide a diverse range of experiences and promotes learning and development. It also includes the concrete materials within that space – furniture, equipment, facilities and resources.

An organised learning environment offers opportunities for different kinds of activities: indoor or outdoor, quiet or noisy, in a group or individually, self- chosen or planned.

Why is having an organised Learning Environment important?

An effective Learning Environment provides children with the opportunity to develop their emotional intelligence, scaffolds their learning and helps them to grow and flourish.

For a childcare centre, having a well organised Learning Environment underpins good practice across all quality areas. NQS Quality Area 3 focuses on the physical environment and ensuring that it is safe and suitable for the children in your care.

As one of the 8 key practices in the Early Years Learning Framework it is essential that you are using all available space effectively and that your Learning Environment is safe, purposeful, organised and well resourced. This space helps to determine how and what kind of relationship happens within it and is pivotal in the quality of the learning experience of the child.

What makes a GREAT Learning Environment?

A great Learning Environment is welcoming, flexible, responsive, safe, invites experiences and offers consistency and predictability for the child.

A great Learning Environment should:

· Support the emerging interests of the children.

· Reflect different cultures, interests, abilities and learning styles.

· Recognise children as active learners and decision makers.

· Encourage children to make choices.

· Offer as sense of belonging.

· Be safe, clean, attractive and comfortable.

· Facilitate children in initiating their own experiences, acquire new skills and consolidate existing ones.

· Enhance child initiated experiences by providing additional resources which can extend their play.

· Ensure access and participation by every child and allow interaction between indoor and outdoor space.

Enjoy the learning experiences with the children in your centre.

CATERPILLAR FRUIT KABOBS!

A Fun and Healthy Treat!!

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INGREDEIENTS

1 bunch of green grapes.

A Punnet of strawberries.

Handful of bamboo skewers.

1 container of white frosting.

1 pack of mini choc chips.

METHOD

Wash Fruit.

Thread about 6 green grapes onto the skewer.

Add a strawberry to the end.

Dot two little googly eyes on the strawberries and pop on choc chips to add the final flourish!

How about pouring some yoghurt into a bowl to create a yummy yoghurt dip too!

EXAM TIME - MOTIVATION FOR YEAR 12 STUDENTS!

EXAM PICTURE

 





Exam stress is a feeling of pressure that many young people feel coming up to exam time.   It usually occurs during the revision period before exams and immediately before the exams themselves.  Stress is defined as an individual's response to pressure.

If you are currently teaching Year 12 students you may find some of these tips useful to pass on during exam time!

Eat your Way to a Better Grade!

BREAKFAST -  Eat grains and proteins.  Try oatmeal topped with peanut butter and apple.

LUNCH AND DINNER - Go for the Omega-3 and Fatty Acids! Fish is perfect for this.

NEED TO BOOST YOUR CRAMMING CAPABILITIES?   Have a salad topped with spinach, onions, broccoli and beans!

NEED TO SATISFY THAT SWEET TOOTH?  Go for berries and dark chocolate.  The antioxidants in these help to increase blood flow to the brain for increased alertness and clarity!

STAY HYDRATED - Be sure to drink plenty of water. Not drinking enough water can make you feel sluggish and stressed.  Avoid caffeine this can make you feel anxious – try a cup of herbal tea instead.  Peppermint, chamomile are known for their calming properties.

REMEMBER:  Two minute noodles do not fall into any of the above categories!!

To calm yourself if feeling overwhelmed  -  Remember to:

BREATHE DEEPLY 

Not just normal breathing – deep breathing.  Just stop, find a quiet place, sit upright and breath deeply for the count of 5 (while counting in your head).  Continue this for 2-3 minutes and you will be amazed how this will calm you down again.

EXERCISE AND TAKE REGULAR BREAKS 

Make time to spend half an hour away from the study and exercise – go for a run – pump some weights – have a dance session.  Just clear your head and come back to the study with those endorphins buzzing!

For more motivational quotes for your students – check out the following link  https://www.examtime.com/blog/study-motivation-tips/ 

Good Luck!!