Yes, you are busy but a little bit of time and effort preparing for the year ahead can reduce a lot of hassles and stress in the new year.
Spend some time in your end of year staff, or department meeting discussing, in small groups, the main student and parent issues that occurred this year at each year level. At the meeting:
- Review class lists and identify potential issues with the student’s current classroom
teachers. Find out what worked well with the student or their parents
rather than focusing on the problems.
- List the 5 – 10 most common issues experienced by students, and the most frequent parent queries or issues at your year level. Ensure these cover academic, social competency and organisational issues.
- Brainstorm the best ways to handle each one. Solutions might include educating parents on common student issues, putting programs in place for students in areas such as social skills, coping or study skills programs, or researching resources or PD to help staff to understand common learning difficulties. For example you might create a handout for parents of beginners suggesting what to pack in their lunchbox, or organise a presentation for parents at the beginning of the year about cybersafety, or register for a PD early next year on modifying the curriculum for students with dyslexia.
- Make times to meet early and mid Term 1, 2014 to discuss strategies and share resources collected or created.
For more on avoiding potential problems next year read about creating great working relationships with parents here.
For those teachers who wish to bring themselves quickly up-to-date with ‘Six common learning difficulties: Key teaching strategies’ register for our PD now. The presentation will cover learning issues associated with ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia (maths disability), severe language disorder, working memory difficulties, and poor processing speed. Click on the link for more information on the session in Melbourne running on the 4th March 2014.