Exams to mark? Reports to finalise? Students tired and irritable? Social events and school functions to attend? The end of the year in schools is often a busy and trying time for both staff and students. The last thing you probably feel like doing is thinking about next year.
Making some time in the next few weeks, however, to plan for any anticipated issues with students, staff and parents will save you time and a great deal of stress in 2015.
Planning for how you will manage any anticipated issues next year can be incorporated into your end of year staff, or department meeting. At the meeting discuss in small groups the main issues that occurred this year, and plan for how you will avoid or manage similar issues next year.
- List the biggest issues you faced in the classroom and the most common questions parents asked this year. Doing so will enable you to begin to plan your approach and your key problem-solving strategies.Utilise other teachers’ knowledge about each child and their family situation in your planning.
- Identify the problems you can easily develop strategies and solutions for now, and ones that require further research or discussion before a plan can be put into place.
- Brainstorm the best ways of handling each problem you can easily prepare for now. Collaborate with staff members to research those problems you can’t immediately solve easily.
- Make a time to meet in the first week of Term 1 to discuss identified strategies for the problems researched over the holidays and update the strategies brainstormed in late 2014. You may like to read through the relevant Psych4Schools booklets and documents to develop strategies to assist in your planning.
- Review class lists with current classroom and specialist teachers.
- Inform yourself about common academic, social competency and organisational issues that occur among the children at your year level.
It can be helpful to brainstorm, research and plan strategies and solutions for potential issues with your team or department. Develop a department or school-wide approach to communicate with parents about key issues, so parents receive consistent messages throughout the school. This can be done via parent assemblies, newsletters, letters home to parents or the school website or parent-teacher interviews.
Psych4Schools members: research solutions to potential problems working with students.
Not a Psych4Schools member? Look here for information on the common difficulties experienced by students.
* A modified version of this article appeared in eNews 5.