By: Kelly Zerby
It’s time to go back to school, are you ready? Whether you are going back to the same school you have been in for many years, or if you are starting at a new place, you need to start the new year off on the right foot with your students. Here are a few suggestions for you.
Smile and Stay Positive
Set a welcoming tone for your students. Greet them on the playground and tell them you are happy to see them. They are nervous coming back to school after having been gone for 2 months. They are going to be so excited to see a familiar and welcoming face.
Children thrive on routine, and teachers do too. Once you set it up, and keep it consistent, things will fall into place. For example, my students do instant activities when they enter the gym most days. During the first few times the students come to PE class with me, I teach them all the instant activities, and we practice them. Then as the weeks continue, when they enter PE, they know all the activities.
Give respect, get respect
You have to set up an atmosphere of respect in your gymnasium. My students know I care about them and want them to learn. I make sure they make decisions about what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. If I see a student in distress, I make sure to have a one on one conversation. I also feel it’s important that your students know you are human too. I often tell them stories from when I was a kid, or when I was a high school athlete. My students are always eager to learn more about me, and tend to listen better because I am human, not just a teacher to them.
Remember, things take time.
Whatever the case may be, remember that back to school procedures takes time. The students need to be re-taught all the school expectations and they need to practice them. It may seem tedious, but if you are structured and consistent, your students will learn and follow the routines.
Try something new.
As teachers we should always be looking to change for the better. Challenge yourself to improve in one or more areas. Reflect on last year or previous years and ask yourself what can I make better? Ask for feedback from colleagues in and out of your building. Talk to other professionals via Twitter or other means. The changes may be small but the impact may be huge. Think outside the box and be brave enough to try that new idea.