6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start (a Teacher’s Guide)

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Written by Alison Smith

Pretty much every teacher I know is aiming to make a positive change and a fresh start in some aspect of their teaching life. Can you relate?

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Let me begin by saying that the very fact that you are reading this blog article means that you are already doing a fabulous job of being a mindful teacher who is open to growth.

The beginning of a new school term is the perfect time to make a fresh start.

So, are you desperate to improve your classroom organisation or to teach guided reading in a more efficient way? Perhaps you’ve recognised that it’s time to update your classroom behaviour management system?

Read on for tips on making a fresh start and a positive change to benefit both you and your students.

Step 1 – Identify Your Classroom Pain Points

The first step to making a fresh start is to identify your classroom pain points.

What is a pain point? A pain point is a specific problem you or your students are experiencing in the classroom. Like any problem,  pain points are as diverse and varied as your students themselves.

Write a list of all of the problems areas in your classroom. Don’t worry about how many there are at this stage, just get them all down onto paper. Here are a few examples of possible classroom pain points:

  • transitions
  • keeping the classroom tidy
  • classroom organisation
  • guided reading
  • differentiation
  • behaviour management
  • homework
  • home/school communication.

Step 2 – Select One Problem to Solve

While you might have a long list, it’s more achievable to address just one pain point at the start of a new school term. So how do you decide which one pain point to tackle?

Start by whittling your list down to three pain points. Work out which three are the most important by asking yourself which pain point:

  • has the greatest negative impact on my students?
  • has the greatest negative impact on me?
  • impacts me daily?
  • do I want to remove from my day the most?

Finally, select the ultimate one (from the three pain points that you have highlighted). Choose the one pain point that will make the biggest impact for you and your students, when solved.

Step 3 – Find a Solution

Being solution-focused (spending less time thinking about the problem and more time working out a solution) is an important part of making a fresh start.

There are many ways to find a solution. Here’s are a few ways  to find the answers that you are looking for:

  • ask your teacher friends and colleagues how they do it
  • search the Teach Starter website for tips, ideas and resources
  • read blogs on The Chalkboard
  • take a look at how other teachers are doing it on Instagram.

Remember, that making a fresh start in a particular area of your teaching or classroom management doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all on you. One of the best ways to implement change in your classroom is to collaborate with your students.

A Fresh Start for Classroom Organisation

Who doesn’t want to improve classroom organisation? Check out these brilliant ideas to set your mind free from clutter and chaos. Even if you just take one idea from here you will be winning on your quest to make a fresh start.

 

A Fresh Start for Guided Reading

For many teachers, guided reading is a pain point. It can be very challenging to set up, implement and assess guided reading. So, if you have identified a need to make a fresh start with guided reading, take a look at our Guided Reading Folder Templates and Checklists.

 

This collection of templates and checklists has been created to assist in the planning and monitoring of students during guided reading sessions. For more hints and tips for guided reading in the classroom, check out our blog How to Set up Guided Reading in the Classroom.

A Fresh Start for Classroom Management

Classroom management systems have a shelf life. What worked during the last term may not work during the next term. If behaviour management is your pain point, it’s time to make a fresh start.

Does your class seem extra chatty? Have they got a serious case of the blurts?

Blurt Buttons are a great way to curb calling out in your classroom. This bright, fun classroom management strategy is a brilliant way to help curb calling out. All you need is 2 jars, some buttons and the Blurt Buttons Set Up – Classroom Management download

For more information on how to use Blurt Buttons in your classroom read Bron’s blog Blurt Buttons | A Fun Way to Curb Calling Out in the Classroom.

Check out our extensive Behaviour Management Collection for everything you need to make a fresh start.

Make a Fresh Start with Self-Care

Make a fresh start with your own teacher wellbeing.

Most importantly, if you were feeling completely burnt out at the end of the last term, it’s time to make a fresh start with looking after you.

You owe yourself the love and care that you so freely give others.

Use this checklist to monitor your mental wellbeing and to remind yourself of the importance of mindfulness. Read our blog on Tips for Teacher Wellbeing to maintain a happier, healthier mind!

Take a Load Off

Finally, don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Give yourself a break.

 Remember that every day is a fresh start.

Share your love for making a fresh start on Instagram #teachstarter.

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Comments & feedback

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This is awesome! I have been working on my ‘Pain Point’ during these last couple of days and I’m ready to face the new term with fresh ideas!

Shandell Gammon · Jul 13th, 2019

Hi Shandell, I am so happy that you have decided to tackle your ‘pain point’ and that you are winning!!! You are amazing. Have a brilliant day and remember… be kind to yourself and focus on the things that go well.
Ali

Alison Smith · Jul 16th, 2019

Fantastic 👍

Charina Davis · Jul 5th, 2019

Hey Charina,
Thanks for your positive comment. I hope that these ideas are useful and help to make your life easier.
Have a great day!
Ali

Alison Smith · Jul 8th, 2019

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