An article by Richard James Rogers
10th October 2016
A new academic year begins and you’ve been on full-throttle since day one! New students, new systems, new courses; maybe even a new school! Wherever you’re teaching, I hope that you’ve settled in well to yet another school year.
How has it gone so far?
Millions of teachers around the world begin this first semester with oodles of confidence and exitement: vowing to do more marking, be more inspirational, get more grade A’s and be more organized than they were last year. Alternatively, If this is your first year in teaching, then you might be hoping to cope well with the demands of the profession and survive this initiation period.
My viewpoint has always been that ‘less is more’. Instead of doing more of this, or being more of that, I believe we should focus on the simple things we can cut down on to increase our effectiveness and efficiency. This includes:
- Being less tired in the morning: a good breakfast, an early start and a morning workout with a relaxing morning routine, maybe involving reading and prayer, are great ways to solve this issue
- Wasting less time doing pointless things: assigning every Saturday morning to lesson planning, for instance, reduces time-wasted the following week making day-by-day decisions on what to prepare and when. Assigning a personal schedule for the collection and setting of homework for each class; searching for and modifying online resources to suit your needs (instead of building from scratch); using peer and self-assessment (to save marking time) and creating a step-by-step action plan that runs on an hour-by-hour basis are all great ways to make your time more productive.
- Being less autocratic and dictatorial in class and incorporating a wider variety of activities for our learners. The builds rapport, improves behaviour management and puts the hard work in the hands of the students – after all, they are the ones who should be working hard, not you!
So if you’re halfway through and feeling exhausted, then seek to cut out the unnecessary actions that are wasting your time and causing stress in your working life.
My book, ’45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know’ (which had just been rated 9.5 out of 10 by UKEdChat), goes into great detail about all of the above points, with lots of practical ideas and case studies to help you be the best you can be.