Preparing the School Environment.

Preparing the emotional and environmental details of the school or the classroom for the coming semester can have a very clear impact on student and teacher behaviour.

Upon finishing a semester examination, teachers should start to prepare for the next schooling term ahead. That is certainly not to say that teachers should not enjoy their well-earned semester holiday, but there are some preparatory jobs which can be addressed immediately, and which will relieve the pressure that teachers will face in the new semester.

Class lists, new schemes of work, timetables and staffing are all part of the end-of-term organization and changes. Once all the information has been shared / agreed upon; everyone will know where he will be working (which classrooms, etc) which groups or classes they will be teaching and which members of staff will be part of the subject panels / teams. With that information clearly in place, one can make some individual preparations. It is easier to map out a plan of action rather then trying to squeeze in all your preparation into the final weeks/ days before the new semester begins.

A clear and informed timetable of preparation means that one can give sufficient consideration not only to the teaching and learning issues, but also the emotional and environmental details that have a very clear impact on the student and teacher behaviour.

Devise an environmental checklist and apply to your classrooms or teaching environments. Identify the issues that need to be dealt with; whose role is it to to deal with the identified problems.  The following can be consider as a baseline for you checklists:

  • repairs to or replacement of furniture, decoration, fittings and electrical items. Make sure to give the maintenance team in the school enough time to rectify the problems;
  • appropriateness of resources, equipment;
  • old display from the current semester on the walls, which should be taken down unless they will serve clear purpose for the new class;
  • the removal of old name tags, and property left behind by this semester’s class groups;
  • up to date information on any students with special educational needs, including effective and essential strategies.

Make sure that your school rules and classroom rules are clearly displayed and are in both written and pictorial format. Rules and guidance are to be phrase in a positive manner, and avoid signs such as “No running around inside the classroom!”. Instead, use positive phrases such as “Thanks for walking…!”. Also, it is good to reinforce these signs with some form of self – explanatory picture or illustration.

Timely and thorough preparation will ensure that one is able to provide the most effective environment for the students whom you have spent time getting to know them, and have included that knowledge in your planning.

So prepare as much as you can before you leave for your holiday; and set a clear time-frame before your new semester starts. It is important that the person to feel most calm and prepared is you.


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