So I made it! One complete term of full-time work. I feel… tired. Tired like anemia, right down to my bones. Luckily I don’t have to do anything this week except catch up with friends and entertain my cat, so I should be able to build up my reserves.
Thinking back I’ve tried to draw some lessons from how things went this term. It’s easy for me to be critical, so lets start with the good stuff.
I looked after myself.
I took days off when I needed them. I ate proper meals. I took time to socialise and have fun. I didn’t beat myself up over my mistakes. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you look after the basics first and everything else second.
I’ve accomplished good things with my senior classes.
Year 11 & 12 I’ve talked about previously, but I’ll add the fact that I feel pretty good about how I taught the final HSC topic, and hopefully my students will carry that into the exam. I’ve also had some really good engagement with my Year 10 students, even with some not particularly academic students, and I’m quite proud of that.
Now let’s move on to the things I want to change.
I need to set higher standards for behaviour in my junior classes.
Right now we’re at a level where most students aren’t necessarily misbehaving, but they’re constantly toeing the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This is an exhausting situation to be constantly monitoring, and it means the more volatile students don’t have far to go before they incur consequences like a detention.
More work on my lesson plans.
During the last term I took a lot of shortcuts with my lesson planning. I don’t regret this, as it allowed me to stay sane and healthy. However I did find that the lessons I threw together quickly were less rewarding for me to teach. Going forward the basics of teaching should take less of my energy, so I want to put more of it into lessons that are a little bit creative and exciting.
I could probably think of more, but I’d rather not! Those two are enough to be getting on with. In conclusion, I would like to leave you all with a bit of wisdom that I picked up during Year 12’s Definitely-Not-A-Muck-Up-Day Activities: lab safety goggles provide excellent eye protection during the throwing of water balloons, sponges and saving cream. To all of my teacher friends, have a good holidays!