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What things are people preparing now to save them time in September?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jo_998, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. I clearly prepare far too much but it suits me and I like to get off to a running start in September and I need to know I'm ready in order to be able to relax during the holidays, free of any worries about the first week! Thus I have already written basic lesson plans for our first week back, detailed plans for the first day, Term 1 and Term 2 plans (we have to have them done by the end of the first week anyway), I have seating plans, labelled new books, opening displays on walls, termly class newsletter and basic tick sheets/assessment sheets ready to use with pupils' names already entered. Oh yes, and as I have been given detailed information on each child I have already grouped the pupils into intial Literacy and Maths groups. Is this too much or am I just well-prepared and thus will have an easier first week than others?!!!!
  2. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    So far I've done the following (due to moving rooms have had to re-do a lot and sort a lot of other peoples' rubbish):
    Backed all the display boards in my new room;
    Labelled drawers with children's names;
    Put names on behaviour chart 'pegs';
    Sorted medium term literacy and numeracy plans;
    Planned topic plan for Term 1 with partner teachers;
    Moved furniture to new class;
    Letter to parents re class expectations
    Yet to do:
    Label equipment drawers;
    First weekly/unit plans for lit, num and topic;
    Class lists;
    Names for group cards;
    Make displays look pretty/ set up subject area displays;
    Back corridor display boards;
    Photocopy APP sheets/ other assessment sheets (previous teacher lazy/inaccurate so need to re-do from scratch);
    Plus prob more but above is the min.
    Though it could be argued that most of the above should be odne by support staff!! BUT I rest better once done and ready for Sept.
  3. sdw I feel so much better after reading your post as I have done much the same as you, but felt bad that I was working in the holidays. However, again like you, I prefer to be ready to 'hit the ground running' (so to speak) on the first day and I hate leaving things until the last minute, especially when there is no need to do so.
    Lots of the people at school have teachers as OHs whereas mine is a non-teacher. I therefore feel quite guilty if I sit around all day when he is working hard (and long hours) in the office. It is therefore a sop to my conscience when I have produced something tangible by the end of the day!
  4. This list has been great! Used it this morning to start my own to-do list as I have yet to do any work for the next term because of cleaning and redecorating - things that rarely get done during term. However, as September looms in the near future, I am starting to feel anxious because I have yet to make a start on school work.
    Some people are great at turning off over the holidays and not doing any work until they absolutely have to but I am one of those people who enters panic mode when I know things need to be done. Seem to work every holiday of the year, but don't blame anyone else for that but me. A bit of a control freak! But then what teacher isn't at least slightly OCD.
    The TA who prepared a whole lot of things for their new teacher - you are FANTASTIC! Do not feel bad about it, I wish I had you!
    Good luck everyone as the new term draws near and do enjoy your holiday! Life is too short.
  5. What a great thread this is - very useful at getting my head in gear for starting the next term.
    I echo this thought. Well done.
  6. Grainy - Ignore pink flip flop - what a rude teacher. If they feel it appropriate to talk to someone online that they have never met like that, lord knows how they speak to the children in their care, I would HATE to work with someone like that and/or have them teach my children.
    If I was working with you, I would kiss you big time! I have done much of what you have done already, but I would simply agree with you to use some of the stuff I'd done and some of the stuff you've done. Much better to bend than to break, right? - the essence of compromise.
    Like the originator of this message board, I am an NQT and so nervous, although I have done a year's teaching... hit the ground running 3 days into term last Sept where the class had been dropped by 2 teachers already! No books, drawers, pegs to their name. No class rules. Nothing. A newbie fresh out of uni with a challenging full class to nurture, educate and no offer of help or support (not without making me feel like I was stupid for not knowing or simply an inconvenience).
    I have downloaded the checklist from someone on this site who appears very organised and experienced and so long as this gets done, then I'll be happy. Feel torn working through the hols, esp with two young'uns of my own, but my contract has started and so I want to be seen to be earning my crust. I am fortunate in that I can get into school on some days, but when I have been in, I feel overwhelmed by it all and it almost becomes unproductive.
    For some reason it all makes more sense once the term has started and the children are in.
    You will be fine. Good luck. xx
  7. Hi
    Found lots of great ideas. Just wanted to know if someone can give me some ideas/plans for the first day/week back as I am moving from key stage one to years 4/5?
  8. I teach Year 6 and on the first day back we have a slightly longer assembly welcoming the children back etc. I then tend to hand out diaries and remind them of the procedure, hand out drawer labels for them to write on their names and decorate. I go through the opportunities for the year, a classroom orientation exercise (where to find things) and the classroom rules. Then, I have a getting-to-know each other PSHE-type lesson where we introduce ourselves and say what we enjoy and the best day(s) of our summer holidays.
    We pretty much get straight back into normal lessons bearing in mind the children have just had 7 weeks off. We do a first piece of writing in English to get a feel for strengths and weaknesses. The following day we will launch straight into studying poetry - a two week unit. In Maths I start off with place value. On the afternoon I will probably do an Art lesson so the children can relax a bit (they're** usually quite tired after their first morning back) and then wave them goodbye at the end of the day.
    ** and I'm usually tired too!
  9. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    I don't think that Pink was being rude. I too would not like things done in a certain way without being consulted. I have just spent a lot of time doing labels, lists etc which will fit in to the way I teach and organise my class. This is not being ungrateful or unaware of the good jobs TA's do (I was one for many years before qualifying) but more of an awareness of the overall picture I want to create in my class which sometimes I do 'off the cuff' as I am planning.
    I don't think you can complain about the tone of a post and then use much the same tone in your reply!
  10. I am not an NQt i have been teaching four years. I started this thread because this is the first time i have started a new school and not been able to go into school to get prepared and organised. Without even a class list or past assessments i feel like i can prepare very little.
  11. Thank you so much - that was really helpful.
  12. I have downloaded the checklist from someone on this site who appears very organised and experienced and so long as this gets done, then I'll be happy.

    ooh! Where did you get a checklist from? I'm not an NQT, but I'm feeling like one as have been out of full-time teaching for 8 years...
    Would love anything to help!
  13. Kindly point out where I was actually being rude!
    Did I criticise them? No.
    I merely made comment on an online forum about my personal view on the situation. My TAs are invaluable to me and I love them for everything they do, but they know I would not appreciate things being done without any consultation first.
  14. BINGO!!!!
  15. I don't think pinkflipflop was being rude, it was just being honest and I would have to say I would feel the same about it because I spend my time in the holidays preparing things for the classroom so it would be awkward to get into school in September and the TA has done it all aswell, not to mention a bit of a waste of time for both parties as not all resources can be used. Then who's resources do you use?!? Oh it would be a pickle for me!!!

    I do think that the TA who has done all of that with the best intentions should wait to see what the teacher would like doing, although it is a great thing to do it might cause a little bit of tension at the start of the year.

    Just my thoughts as a control freak!!!!

    alwaysthinkin x

  16. Thankyou alwaysthinking.
    I always have quite specific ideas for my classroom, and while I am always really open to ideas from my TA, I would be really annoyed if I had spent time preparing things for my classroom to come in and find she had done it too.
    For an NQT it could also put them in a really awkward/uncomfortable position.
  17. How do I find the checklist?
  18. All I can say, you are a star and I would love you working with me !!.
    I remember going into my current school for the last few days of term and spent it writing on the children's books (28 in class and each child had books so it made 252 books to do. No-one in the school suggested that they could be done on the computer and no TA offered to help. I made my own labels and herited a shell of a classroom. I would have killed to have a TA help create a more welcoming environment. I was new to the school (not to teaching) but my head was still spinning my half term with all the things I had to take on board.
    Again this year i made my own labels, labelled all the books etc as well as all you've done. TA's have done them for some teachers but not all (depends if TA is your mate or not). I would recommend that TA's are given the class lists etc and the directed time in school to do this for all teachers. It would save them doing them at home and would be fair to all concerned. It would also keep a certain uniformity to things. Yes teachers have their own ideas but it would mean the world to me.
    TA's like you are worth their weight in gold !! The teacher is a lucky girl !
  19. I think some of you are jumping on flip flop unfairly. I'm picky about fonts and stuff so tend to do things myself because otherwise they'll annoy me so might be a bit wonky if it had been done before me too.
    I don't work in-class now, but when I did I did very little really over the summer... backed display boards (with a very tall oh I used to drag him in to do them so I didn't need to climb on furniture), a few semi-permanent "help" displays and lettering ready for work to go up in September (had stuff planned out to go on there and marked as display work in my first few weeks' planning), drawers labelled, stationery sorted into group trays, books counted out and labelled (and spares squirrelled away) and that was about it for in-school stuff. Just got as far ahead with medium term planning etc as possible and in quite a degree of detail so a lot of it could just be lifted with a copy-paste into weekly plans. I think that you have to have a cut off point where you decide no more and have to sit and wait till you get the class, their needs and quirks sussed - who needs things like different levels of word banks etc.
  20. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    I must say i'm with pff (and her supporters). though I'd love such a helpful TA, I'd like a discussion to occur first so we can standardise with fonts and standards of presentation and also to ensure work is not duplicated. Mind you I probably am a worse 'control freak' now and ultra particular as every year for years I've had no such TA support with preparation so now am into my own practised routine of classroom preparation. I do think for things like peg, drawer and equipment labels schools should have a TA who can do all in matching fonts ensuring consistnecy across the school so no teacher should be expected to do this.

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