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Magazine Issue 26: FRESH START NEW YEAR
August 2012

This month ideas about and techniques for A New School Year

Article: Fresh Start New Year
New Resources
Teaching Tips
Mike's Books

This Month's Article:

Fresh Start - New Year

Fresh Start - New Year An Article full of inspiration as you begin a new academic year or school term.

From the end spring new beginnings.
Pliny the Elder

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. 
Muriel Rukeyser

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Transition, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: Inspiration Induction New Year
Where are you now?
As the new year begins, where are you in your teaching journey? Just starting out; brim-full of energy and enthusiasm and ready to teach the world? Or maybe winding down; your time in school drawing to a close? Are you are settled, comfortable and confident in your skills, and progressing well up the ranks? Or perhaps you’ve lost your way, struggling in a difficult place, anxious about the coming year? 

Wherever you are, however content or troubled you may be, rest assured that your continued choice to be an educator is one of the most worthwhile decisions anyone can make. Daily, week in, week out, term on term, year by year, you show up and do the hard graft of nurturing our young ones. You give yourself, your time, your experience, your skills and your wisdom, and you give it so that others will succeed. So, basically, well done, thank-you, you are amazing.

Nourish Beginnings
The American poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser said that we should nourish our beginnings. This can be tough when we return, tanned and rested, to the classroom. Our pace of life is suddenly shifted up; our agendas and timetables are no longer our own; and we come back to a place not only of potential, but of unexpected problems as well. 

Nourishment sustains and promotes growth by providing the right diet. The right diet at the start of term varies from person to person. What is yours? What do you need most to be able to grow and to build on last year’s successes? A new daily routine? A new habit? A different slant on stress? A new phrase or mannerism? A new approach to a colleague? Whatever it is for you, insist on having it from day 1, for the sole purpose of becoming a better educator, to nourish yourself.

Take Stock & Take Risks
Nourished and growing you’ll feel more able to take stock, take a deep breath and then take a few risks. Calculated professional risks that is; risks that sit in your growth zone but don’t extend into your danger zone. 

One of the best risks I ever took and continue to recommend is that of first spending a good chunk of time teaching your class(es) how to learn and how to build effective learning communities. The risk is that you don’t jump headlong into the knowledge curriculum. The payoff can be that curricula are covered faster and more effectively. Some folks I know spend 2-3 weeks establishing learning relationships and practices before they go anywhere near a subject objective. Not only do their pupils cover what’s needed over the year, they take with them a whole bunch of personal learning skills.

A common fear is, “But I’ve so much to teach”. Fully understandable. But change it to, “But they’ve so much to learn.” And then make their learning more effective. Do less teaching; cause more genuine learning. 

New Resources:

QClass Thinking

QClass Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for establishing learning behaviours and classroom expectations.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Collaborative Thinking, Teaching & Learning, All Ages, Any Subject

Tags: Quality Rules Behaviour Success Criteria
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

QClass Thinking Powerpoint

QClass Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, providing key slides for running a lesson to develop QClass criteria.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Collaborative Thinking, Teaching & Learning, All Ages, Any Subject

Tags: Induction New Year Behaviour Success Criteria
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Science Think Sheet - Weather & Seasons

Science Think Sheet - Weather & Seasons A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas applied to weather and the seasons.

Categories: Think Sheet, Science, Junior, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Weather Seasons
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Teaching Tips:

Tips for a Fresh Start

Tips for a Fresh Start Teaching Tips for a Successful Fresh Start. Three simple ideas: Affirmation; RPM; 1-Line Diary.

Categories: Teaching Tips, Transition, Educators, Any Subject

Tags: Induction New Year
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Mike's Books:

Books to help you with Transition to Secondary:

Moving to Secondary School
by Mike Fleetham & Lynda Measor

Moving to Secondary School<br> by Mike Fleetham & Lynda Measor Book with Advice & Activities to Support Transition. Co-authored with Dr Lynda Measor, this book is packed with activities to make transition to secondary school as smooth as possible. Using Galton's 5 bridges model you'll be able to plan effectively for pupils moving from KS2 to KS3. Focussing not only on the paperwork and data, you'll also find out how to manage the smooth transition of teaching, learning, emotions and friendships.

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Transition, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Transition Year 6 Year 7

Next month we think about Independent Learning