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?

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 year or school term is the perfect time to make a fresh start.

So, are you desperate to improve your classroom organization or to teach guided reading in a more efficient way? Perhaps you’ve recognized that it’s time to update your classroom behavior 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 organization
  • guided reading/math
  • effective literature circles
  • differentiation
  • behavior 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 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 Organization

Who doesn’t want to improve classroom organization? 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 last year or during the last term may not work this year (or term). If behavior management is your pain point, it’s time to make a fresh start.

Make a fresh start with classroom motivation.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 Motivation 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 last year or 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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