Resolution, but no revolution: My 3 aims for September

I always find it interesting that as the academic year reaches its end, so the pace of school life quickens at the same rate as energy levels diminish.

The heat of the last few days has not helped this process, although students who ordinarily may have been tempted to try our patience, have been prevented from doing so, having been overcome by the soaring classroom temperatures. Note: Must disguise myself carefully with hard drive, 17″ monitor and attached mouse in order to be mistaken for ICT equipment and thereby be granted air-conditioned accommodation.

It is at this time though that the ideas and resolutions begin to stack up for September and I have to try to temper my enthusiasm for a mountain of new ideas and initiatives to a realistic and achievable number.

So, rather than trying to revolutionise my teaching world in one fell swoop, I feel that gentle evolution is more the way forward. How sensible, I hear you say.

Three is always a manageable number, I feel, so here goes.

1) Exploring the use of class blogs
I like the idea of students posting ideas, feedback, opinions, collaborative work and peer assessment (to name but a few) for others to learn from.
Weebly, Edmodo and Moodle may all be potential ways forward here.

2) Working on engaging starting routines
I want students to be arriving with a desire to get started. I plan to try games at the start to re-energise rather than simply at the end to revise lesson content. I want to experiment with seating plans to maintain an air of unpredictability and for students to explore different group dynamics.
Triptico is one major resource I know I will be using for this.

3) Incentivising and intervening
I want to be more ready to praise, and particularly to communicate more regularly with home. My starting point is to try to use a healthy weekly ratio of 10 positive home contacts (whether it be phone calls or praise postcards) for every 2 phone calls or letters of concern, which offer support.
I bought 2 books of raffle tickets on a whim at the supermarket this week and plan to give out tickets for good classwork / homework and then have a half-termly raffle as a reward.

That will do for now.
As always, seeing these through to fruition is the tricky part.

I’ll keep you posted …