The alarm bell rings. Your bag is packed. Your outfit is chosen. You are ready to rock. After a wonderful summer break you are well rested and feel like a superhero. Your pupils, however, may not share your enthusiasm.
The first day back after the summer break can be daunting and upsetting for some pupils. We have a few tips to help teachers ease their pupils (and themselves) back into the swing of things.
- Don’t Overwhelm
Let’s be realistic. Your pupils probably did not have a structured daily routine over the long summer break. They spent extra time with family and friends, spent extra time on the couch, had extra TV time, extra ice-cream, even extra cuddles. There may have been full days where they didn’t change out of their pjs or spent the entire day on the beach. Returning to the school routine after this long break can be very difficult for your pupils. The most important thing is to not overwhelm them. The last thing they need is an in-depth maths worksheet. Start off with a quick win, an open-ended, pupil-led activity such as showing a photograph and asking your pupils to discuss what they see.
- Share Time
Ask you pupils to share one brief memory from their summer break. Yes, we know you are itching to get stuck into that amazing lesson plan you created over the break, but look at it from your pupils’ point of view. They have had so many experiences with close family, grannies, grandads, aunts, uncles and friends. At this stage they are just bursting with excitement to tell you every detail! So, allow them to share one special memory with the class. It’s important to acknowledge their little voices.
- Have Low Expectations
As mentioned above, the first day back to school after the summer break can be a little unsettling for some pupils. Children will be tired and maybe even a little teary. So, don’t expect too much from them. Keep little minds busy by asking for help with handing out materials and cleaning the board. An extra warm smile will go a long way too.
4. Reboot and Review
Use it the first day back to review your classroom policies and procedures. Involve your pupils and ask them to suggest any new rules that may be required. The first day back is critical in setting the tone for the rest of the school year.
5. Reward Yourself!
The first day back can be challenging for teachers too! We’re sure your pupils were not the only ones surviving on ice-creams! When you’ve survived your first day back, give yourself something to look forward to, no matter how small; a bubble bath, a new book, that TV show on Netflix everyone’s talking about.
At Prim-Ed Publishing we know how hard teachers work, and we also know how difficult it can be to get back to work after the summer break. As a teacher your key message to your pupils is to ‘be kind to each other’, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself too.