How to survive Term Four | Teacher Tips
Updated: Mar 25
You would think that Term Four would be the easiest: you have Christmas holidays to look forward to, the weather is getting warmer and you can practically FEEL the light at the end of the tunnel. BUT, in between you and that ultimate prize is a whole heap of hard work. So here are a few of the things that help me survive Term Four.
ONE- "It's all about the reports"
We thought we left those buggers back in Term Two but here they are, back to torment us. I NEVER leave my reports to the last minute, in fact, to mitigate stress, I start on those babies straight away. My little secret is to do the reports in clusters of five students and to start on them two weeks before they are due. In pen them into my teacher diary and complete one batch before school and another in any free periods. Before I know it, they are done.
I also have a simple formula for report writing that makes them easier to write. For my first sentence, I always write something personal about the student, making comment on any positive attributes or their work ethic. My second sentence is all about their performance in second semester Assessment Tasks and my final sentence is feedback for growth.
TWO- "List it"
I love a good to-do list. Term Four is all about wrapping up jobs so you walk smiling into the school holds and have little to no work to do in preparation for the following year. To do this, I write down all the grades I'm teaching and the jobs I have to do for that specific group. I also create a miscellaneous list. I keep this in a visible place and check off when complete.
An alternate strategy I've been trying lately has been to write jobs on individual post's notes and putting these on the top of my desk and pulling them off as the task is complete. To ensure I'm not just creating a to-do list, but also actually DOING it- I always write in my teacher diary when I plan to complete something.
THREE- "Keep the monkeys in the zoo"
As the Term starts to roll on and Assessments are being completed, student behaviour often wanes (as does attendance). I use to try so hard to make sure students were working hard and behaving themselves 100% of the time all the way to the very end. I went absolutely nuts trying to do this. Now I've taken more of a "keeping the monkeys in the zoo" mentality. As long as the kids are in the room, behaving in a reasonable manner and working on something- sometimes that's the best you can do. In the last two weeks, when all the content is covered, I try to think of fun activities for my students such as: drama games, debates, creative writing, categories or making something e.g. posters or short films. The 'powers that be' don't like it when you watch films or play games, so try to avoid these.
Four- "Inside and outside"
The biggest key to surviving Term Four has nothing to do with school and everything to do with yourself. It is so important to take care of yourself, inside and outside as the year draws to a close. I like to do this by:
Getting enough sleep
Drinking more water
Preparing my lunches
Spending time with family and friends
De-briefing with co-workers
Accepting offers to help
Indulging in self-care
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