THE TEACHER IN JANUARY
It is January again and for a lot of people it is a clean start of new resolutions, that will be in progress for the next twelve months. But for the teacher, January means going back-to- school and if you are a teacher and you don’t get mixed feelings at the beginning of term two of the academic year in January then you are in the wrong job. This is because going back to school after Christmas holidays could summon lots if anxieties in many teachers. Knowing very well the life of the teacher is very difficult and January does not make it any better. Just the mere thought of going back- to -school in January could bring allergic reactions and nerve breaking experience.
During the holidays, everyone is used to sleeping late in the night and waking up late in the morning, doing personal stuffs and the issue of lesson note preparation is long forgotten by the teacher. So adjusting to school activities may take a while. While some teachers will take it slowly to get back into their routine, other teachers think that the sooner you get into your routine, the better.
The first week of back- to- school is very critical in setting the tone for the rest of the school days. However the first week of back- to- school in January could not pass by without the teacher experiencing some memorable moments.
To some teachers, they may have to review their bedtime and waking up timetable few days to re-opening of school or they will have to employ the service of alarm clock to help them wake up on time to prepare for school and with the circulation of the cold harmattan wind, bathing early in the morning will become almost impossible hence the teacher in January may resort to the performance of ablution.
After the Christmas celebrations, most teachers will appear in some new clothes they bought for the Christmas to show off to their colleagues.
The teacher in January may definitely write the wrong year when writing the date on the board which will throw the whole class in giggling.
In the same back- to- school week in January, I am very certain teachers will be ceasing some Christmas toys from pupils who will be distracting classroom activities with such toys.
Oh! I just remembered, that teachers will be asking for validation for salary payment dates and many others will fast and pray in tongues for January to end soonest because they will have to continue eating left over food items because there is no money left after the Christmas celebration for fresh stock of food items.
Now, the big question is how do you prepare for new term amidst all the January financial hardship? In this situation while the veteran teachers will rely heavily on their experience of the ideas on how to start right for the new term in January typically by planning. The newbies in the teaching job with less or no experience often come more excited with little ideas of what it takes to survive the longest month of the academic year. As we all share life surviving skills in these difficult days in January, it is equally important that we also share some tips to help us get ready for our big day which is back- to -school day.
1. Get yourself ready few days before school re-open, try to wake up early to adjust yourself to getting up early to prepare for school.
2. Plan ahead
It is better to over plan than to under plan and being prepared is the most important aspect of teaching. So arm yourself with your first week lesson plans. It is also necessary to go through your class routine and icebreakers ahead of time to avoid been caught in the last minute train. The better prepared you are, the better you feel.
3. Create a checklist of all the things you need to in the first week.
4. Get your supplies ready. This may include your teaching aids and the necessary materials. It is so funny that teachers are used to borrowing pens from their colleagues and pupils so most at times are not worried about getting new supplies but it is good to get your pens, pencils , erasers correction pens, highlighters etc
5. Take time to familiarize yourself with the curriculum and the timetable you have for the new term.
6. Reflect on the previous term and review what went on well and what did not go on well and adopt new ideas and strategies to implement in the new term in your class.
7. Set goals and expectations for the term. A list of the things to be achieved and areas you will want to improve in the new term.
8. Find a mentor to whom you can turn to for help or advice to achieve good results.
9. When the opportunities come, be prepared to get involved in other co- curriculum activities. Don’t stay in isolation.
10. The moment you enter the classroom, get connected and create a rapport with your students by giving them a brief moment to share their memories from the holidays. This will strengthen the bond between you and your students.
Be dedicated to this noble profession that influences the life of our future leaders by aiming to make each new term the very best. Be positive is and pull out your greatest effort for this this new term regardless of the hardships of January. Give yourself the chance to be of good cheers, encourage your students to put in their best possible efforts they can.
By Esiawonam Ahiati,a passionate teacher | myvibesonline.com |Ghana