Downhill from now on and a ridiculously simple “back to class” activity

So it’s the Sunday before school starts again and I’m tackling my marking pile, but I don’t care because I had a great holiday, took a trip with my family and bought a new coffee machine – can life get any better?

If you aren’t full of the joys of spring you might like to read Edutopia’s post on 10 tips to avoid teacher burnout. If you don’t know Edutopia then I suggest you hop over there straight away, not only is it packed full of great posts, but it’s financed by George Lucas, so it is obviously from the good side of the force.

I particularly agree with the following tips :

-stay in good health, running not only keeps me fit but sane too.

– learn something new, a rut is the worst place for a teacher to be, I was thinking of looking at coding with some help from codecademy.

-stay positive, and be a positive voice in the staffroom. if, like me, your staffroom is full of moodhoovers then it’s especially important to keep up those positive comments, you will find that like-minded teachers who were just waiting for a chance to bloom at school will dash over to your side of the room and soon your few breaks will be full of uplifting laughter, and no, that doesn’t mean you have to only think positive things about EVERY pupil, parent and colleague, just don’t whine on about the bad things!

Now for the ridiculously simple first lesson activity; After years of planning flashing hoop jumping lessons for the first day or week back, which were forever ruined by pupils just chatting amongst themselves about what they got up to in the holidays, we do just that.

I put them in groups of four or so and they chat about their holidays, I encourage them to ask each other for vocabulary and then as soon as I feel them slipping into L1 I take one from each group and do the same thing with the newly formed groups.

This way when a couple of volunteers (and the naughty boy at the back!) tell the whole class about their fun-filled week they’ve already practiced it twice and aren’t as self-concious. I sometimes get them to add another couple of new “facts” which may or may nnot be true, and check who’s paying attention by seeing if anyone from their original group calls them out with a “that’s not what you told us!”

Whatever you’re planning for tomorrow make sure you get some “me” time today, and the secret to every great teaching day… a good night’s sleep!

 

 

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About fabenglishteacher

I've been teaching English for a few years now and this blog is part of my never-ending quest to make learning English more fun, and easier for my students.
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