Every new teacher faces a deluge of things that HAVE TO BE DONE, usually IMMEDIATELY. This is particularly true at the beginning of the academic year. Even though I’ve been teaching for 19 years this September I always return home on the first day of September dehydrated, brain overload and with an impressive to-do list!
With the final four weeks of term fast approaching and many new staff being invited to schools for an induction day, below are my key recommendations for how to get organised (I still use this every summer).
There will undoubtedly be other things, but at least you can tick these off and try to stop worrying!
NQT Checklist for September
- Get your timetable and print off your class lists/photos before summer.
- Do your seating plans, SEN info and class data. Ask if you don’t understand any of the data. SAVE information in school (check GDPR rules)
- Get hold of schemes of work
- Arrange for room keys to be issued
- Print off the school calendar and pin it up in your classroom – write on deadline dates for KS4 and KS5 classes (keep adding throughout the year)
- Write any important deadlines in your planner; set a reminder a week early.
- Mid-term planning – outline plan 3 weeks’ worth of lessons, then adapt them to your class as needed.
- Read the school behaviour policy
- Get a map of the building and outbuildings
- Read pupil information and make notes of suggested strategies
- Learn your logins and write them down (somewhere safe all together).
- Plan your timetable for homework and marking and stick to it.
- Start marking in your first week and familiarise yourself with the departmental policy. Plan for peer, self and live marking in your lessons to ease the marking loads and ensure feedback is fresh
- Get your room/class resources organised before you start. Being able to navigate the room and have resources to hand limits disruption and ensures no dead time in the lesson
- Learn how to use school systems (e.g. Sam Learning, show my homework, SIMS) before September. Make notes as you won’t remember everything
- Have some rewards ready in line with school policy e.g. reward stamps, postcards, loyalty cards
- If you are a form tutor organise form activities – have a timetable throughout the week, give them a copy on the first day to stick in their planners. Think of group activities for bonding. Set a register monitor to collect notices each day. I also keep a folder with a copy of each student’s timetable.
- Plan your journey to school
- Buy a new mug and notebook!