Of all the changes that I’ve experienced in the last year, the one I struggle with the most is moving into the northern hemisphere school year.
No longer do Christmas decorations signal the start of a long holiday, farewelling of current students and looking towards welcoming a new group of students.
Instead I spent most of December willing my brain to stay sharp in class and plan for the next term.
Being an international school, there is a high amount of pupil turnover at this time of year as students move on to different places and new ones arrive. Even when I’ve taught students over multiple years, I’ve noticed that each class I’ve taught has its own personality.
With so many new faces, I’m treating this as a new class. I will spend a lot of next week reestablishing not re-establishing old rules but bringing together a set of individual children into a cohesive learning unit.
School photo scavenger hunt. Rather than the usual teacher-led tour the kids will get creative while the new children learn the layout of our school.
- Essential agreement. With a larger number of new pupils starting, it makes sense to draft a new agreement rather than tweak the old one to ensure a shared understanding of the learning culture in our classroom.
- Classroom iPads. Santa has given the class a set of iPads. These will require setting up and a common around the rights and responsibilities of their use in class.
- A visual goal. This time the kids will be using keynote to put a twist on goal setting and the silhouettes the kids created in the first term. Here’s hoping I actually get around to sending these home in a few weeks time.
- Technology challenges. Using a modicum of easily source equipment, like newspapers, Sellotape and string technology challenges are a great way for kids to put into practice the learner profile and attitudes we plaster to the walls in PYP classrooms.