"Classroom SOS!" by Evelyn Burke

Main Image

As it rolls around to this time of year, it certainly seems to be the case that our souls need to be saved from the classroom! The countdown is well and truly on until the Christmas holidays. Personally, I am finding it a slog at the moment with extra-curricular things that are going on around the school, as well as data that needs to be collated and logged and observations taking place…but the end is in sight! We will get there! 

For my top tips on surviving in the classroom this festive season, please keep reading!

1. Plan lessons that are easy to deliver - Why make it hard on yourself? Plan lessons that focus on the students doing the work rather than you! For example, you could get the students to do some independent research on a topic/person and get them to teach one another about it! That saves you the hassle!

2. Multitask – while the kids are cracking on with their independent work, what’s wrong with you catching up on emails or planning for next term?

3. Peer-assessment – why create more marking for yourself? Get the students to do it! They will need some guidelines if they haven’t done it before, but you could get them to write one good point and one thing they could improve on about their peer’s work! All you need to do is get yourself a “peer assessed” stamp and off you go! Something like this will do the job nicely!  Peer Assessed

4. You could ask the students to come up with a lesson and deliver it - Or if that seems too adventurous, you could give them a topic (something Christmassy, of course!) and ask them to make a PowerPoint and deliver it! It will give them a feeling of empowerment and they’ll want to do well so they’ll be praised by their peers!

5. Finally, remember if it does all get too much this time of year (or any time of year for that matter!) you’re probably not alone! Teachers have a tendency to work through their breaks and lunches without taking a minute for themselves, so you’re bound to be feeling overwhelmed and/or upset. So, go wild and take your lunch break! Half an hour in the staff room chatting with peers or friends will go a long way! Or go completely nuts and go for a walk around the block to the shop to grab a coffee! You deserve better than the instant rubbish in the staffroom!

Good luck, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

Evelyn is the head of department for Business Studies and ICT at Lincroft Middle School. Follow her on Twitter @EvBurke