More haste, less speed is the feeling us teachers have at the beginning of the year (and at any other time of the year)! There is just so much to do! New classes, new curriculum, and it is just a bit crazy! It’s perfectly understandable that teachers are preparing to start the year and just need to get their developments plans completed, targets set out and sort out all their classes. But once your plans for the year are complete, it makes sense to pause for a breath before you finally submit them. It’s easy to rush development plans at the beginning of the year with results having come in, so much to do and get completed to enable a smooth start to the year!
Taking a step back will help you see the wood for the trees – to identify problems you don’t spot when you’re immersed in the detail of compiling the your plans. A small number of basic checks will identify any glaring errors before it’s too late: here are 5 things to think about before finalising:
- Look at what you set out to achieve last year – was it results and outcomes, improvement of curriculum, resources, and staff development? It is important to look at your targets for last year and evaluate these before setting out new goals and plans
- Try not to use just the final outcome as an overall judgement (I know this is difficult – but bear with me). Using just the final results of cohorts can be detrimental if they are good, or bad! As it allows you to become biased, for example if you have results dropped significantly – Does that mean everything you did with that particular year group was a waste or not good enough?, or if you achieved or exceeded expectations does that mean if you change nothing you will achieve the same results?
We as teachers know that there are so many factors affecting our results. This is why we need to analyse our results good or bad, the real story is in the detail.
- Another thing to think about is – how the schools aims are reflected in your plans and targets? Yes they might aligned but with any luck central themes or development may have been discussed, or shared with you. These can be easily overlooked!
- Be realistic – one thing about plans and targets is we have to be ambitious, – yes, most definitely and everyone is trying to achieve the best results outcomes and experiences for their students and themselves but being realistic is also so important.
- Make it real – how is this plan going to be executed? Plans are all great and we need to know what we are aiming for but it is focus and action that bring about change, however it is this aspect that is so difficult!
It is difficult for everyone no matter at what level. We all get caught up in day to day tasks and can lose focus. So try planning in check points throughout the year, or smaller goals to achieve in 3 months, Try thinking about the actions you need to take now to enable you to go get targets for the end of the year and schedule these in every week.
Achieving any goal is possible but if we don’t know where we are trying to get to how can we get there and if we don’t take specific actions related to our goals then we have aborted our plans as soon we have written them!
Have a great start to the term people and keep in touch with us!