In order to make a fresh start at the beginning of the school season it is best to take time to rest during summer holidays. This helps to ensure an energetic introduction to new kids in your classroom. It is essential to start with good preparation for this will influence how things will work out that year.
Without a proper preparation plan you might struggle with an individual child or even group. For example, I once had a child with a behavioral disturbance. She was very obstinate. It resulted in me instructing something and her doing the exact opposite. I had no idea what to do with her. Then I realized I had to read about the applicable behavioral disturbance. Furthermore I discussed this with my colleague who made a plan with her the year before. I decided to discuss this plan with the child and asked her if this would still be helpful to her, to which she agreed. From then on, I noticed her behavior change; she felt that I cared for her, wanted to invest in her and help her.
There are a couple of things to think of when preparing for a new group:
- Group – What is the main focus for this group?
Some groups struggle with group dynamics, like working together in groups, concentration or bullying. Other groups may need extra attention relating to the content of one or more subjects. By thinking of the groups’ needs, will help you creating a specified group plan which results in a good focus.
- Identity – What kind of children will be in my classroom?
By thinking of individual children with different backgrounds, skills, likes and behavior will results in an inviting environment for individual development. Of course individuals files for each pupil can help as well. Try to see them through Gods eyes.
- Growth: How can they flourish?
By thinking about what I can offer them, we set our goals for the best possible results. This works best with a good cohesion between pupil, parents and teacher. I really believe that it is very important to pray for your new pupils. God can do anything, He is always with you and He really wants to use you as a teacher. He helps you see the best in them and helps them grow.
The last couple of years I have seen a lot of miracles in my group. Results are getting better, children are getting closer to their own identity, while feeling safe in the group and developing themselves. It is fantastic to experience that.
We teachers want to give these kids our best. This we do by preparing well and bringing them before God’s throne. Love these kids like Jesus did, they deserve that!!!
By Chantal van der Heiden, Primary School Teacher from the Netherlands