For teachers in 2019 – working against a backdrop of budget cuts, high-stress levels and excessive workloads – it has never been more vital to take matters into your own hands and implement steps to achieve a happier, healthier future.
Here are ten suggestions you might want to adopt to help your pupils to succeed, while improving your own career, health and wellbeing.
1. Plan your career development
At this time of year, most of us consider our long-term career goals, so look to set out what you want to achieve and the tools that you need to get you there. While it is true that tightening budgets mean that CPDL funding is minimal, by taking charge of your personal career development you are more likely to realise your goals.
Top tip: Use technology to help your career advancement. Find out how here.
2. Do more in less time
Today, workload has been established as one of the biggest threats to teacher retention. And, while educational leaders must do more to help mitigate this issue, it’s also vital that you do all you can to address the imbalance.
For example, one of the most significant pressures reported by teachers is the need to perform box-ticking exercises and informal, ad hoc formative assessment. But, with the right technology you can significantly streamline administrative tasks and reduce your assessment burden.
Apps, online forms and video conferencing (e.g. Skype) can also help to minimise the time spent undertaking face-to-face meetings while keeping the lines of communication open.
Top tip: In 2019, take some time to figure out how technology could help to make your life easier.
3. Get a better work/life balance
Today, getting everything done can be a challenge. Your work suffers because you don’t have the time to do the things you want to during school hours, while your home life suffers because you take your work home. And, ultimately, your health suffers because you can’t keep up.
Of course, nobody working in education expects the 9-5, but that doesn’t mean you should run the risk of burning out. So, as well as looking into the tools that can help you to work smarter, consider creating a teacher wellbeing strategy to help you become more content in your career, and at home.
Not sure how to create your strategy? Read our blog here for tips on improving wellbeing.
4. Boost student attainment
Standards, attainment, and results are critical goals for most teachers. By integrating educational technology into your classroom, and making it a core part of the learning experience, you can inspire student collaboration, creativity, engagement and critical thinking; helping to boost those all-important results in your classroom.
Top tip: Use real-time assessment to improve attainment. Find out how here.
5. Experiment with new teaching methods
There is a huge range of tools, software and technology available to help you shake up your classroom. It might sound scary but you don’t have to try everything at once. Instead, why not look at applying one new technology or technique each month to keep things interesting for you and your pupils.
For example, established by The Communication Trust, ‘No Pens Day’, encourages schools, teachers and pupils to put down their pens/pencils and run a day of speaking and listening activities. In 2018 a dedicated day took place in October (no date revealed for 2019 as yet), but it is a task teachers can try at any time.
Find out more and access a range of support resources to help with this here.
6. Become a digital champion
Technology is changing the face of education. Digital skills are needed to sustain and foster innovation, and teachers who embrace 21st-Century technologies are likely to become digital champions – inspiring not only their pupils – but also their colleagues.
Over the next 12 months, look at how you can become a digital champion in your school. Or, if you have already taken on this role, set out how you will help your colleagues to embrace and use technology going forward.
7. Get pupils ready for the real world
While educational information and facts help students to pass exams and get them interested in further learning, it is vital that teachers also arm children with the broader skills they need to succeed in our digital world – things like digital literacy, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities.
Enriching current teaching methods, while helping students to understand complex subjects and theories, in 2019 why not make technology a core part of the learning experience (if you haven’t done already). Not only will this help you to meet the needs of your pupils and their future employers, but it will also demonstrate your value as a modern educator.
8. Educate your pupils about e-safety
As a teacher, protecting pupils is part of what you already do. But as the world we live in evolves, data protection and broader issues around online security are changing from an IT issue to a school-wide concern.
9. Share resources and knowledge
It’s not just pupils that benefit from educational collaboration; teachers also achieve more through cooperative planning. In 2019, look at how you can collaborate better with your peers; sharing resources (even across departments) to improve cross-curricular learning and create better lessons. For example, cloud-based lesson planning tools allow teachers to customise and share lesson content, quickly and easily.
10. Keep motivated!
Motivated teachers are crucial to a successful classroom. But positivity can start to dwindle as the calendar and the academic year goes on.
Look at what you can do to maintain a positive attitude when you are tired and stressed. This could include things like:
- Switching off and taking some time for yourself
- Taking care of your health
- Going for a short walk at lunchtimes
- Updating your skills and knowledge
- Trying something new
- Getting help from, and helping other teachers
- Getting to know your students better as individuals.
Good luck with your teacher wellbeing and educational goals in 2019!