Just For Fun: 10 Tips For New Term Reintegration

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Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
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How can teachers sustain their mental and physical energy each academic term?

… and we’re off. Here we are again. I have for you some tried and tested tactics to support your training for getting back to work mode.

I know this is Friday fun, but I think you’ll agree, many of them make actual sense.

1. Drink cold hot drinks

You’ll never drink a hot drink between the hours of eight and four on a weekday until half term. To get yourself ready, leave them to cool right down and drink randomly throughout the day at home. This way, your gag reflex is less likely to kick in when you take a slurp whilst teaching. Your lesson will continue seamlessly without you needing to shout ‘urgh’. No doubt those unfortunate souls who find OFSTED rocking up fairly quickly will thank me for this one. You’re welcome.

2. Toilet training

Set timers so you can train your bladder to what it was at the end of term. Experiment with being hydrated enough to get through the day without needing a wee and not keeling over from dehydration (this is a joke – please drink plenty!).

3. Pointless questions

Those lucky teachers who have been child wrangling all summer will have not lost their resilience to these so have a distinct advantage in this area. Those lagging behind, ask friends and family to phone you randomly and ask the most ridiculous question they can think of so you are ready for battle.

4. Irritating dress codes

Are you in one of those schools that goes a bit too far? You’ve been in leggings all summer and don’t want to leave them. If your dress code is rather draconian, study it for loopholes and just for fun, see what you can get away with*.

5. Find your lanyard

It won’t be where you think.

6. Stop napping

Yes Paul, I know it was you who had a daily afternoon nap. No point denying it. You’ve set yourself up for difficulties, as now you need to wean yourself off it. Next year, drop the nap at week five. In week six, get up an hour earlier (and do some yoga) as well.

7. Plan for fun

You know it’s going to be hard going by week three. Inject some of your own fun by having theme days planned such as, ‘wear pink Wednesday’ or ‘bring a prop day’. If you can get enough people on board, especially without the head knowing, it could be quite amusing (although hopefully, your head will want to join in).

8. Voice messages

Leave a long and emotional voice or text messages for friends and family as if you are taking a long trip. You may not have time to speak to them until Christmas (although this may be a good thing sometimes). Tell them how much you love them, as we should all do that more anyway.

9. Snack forage

Plan ahead on those days you don’t get to eat by leaving cereal bars in random places around your school. You can grab one on the hop and make yourself popular for having a secret stash of food to share.

10. Poker face

You may have lost this over the summer. Practise getting it back in the mirror by listening to podcasts of a) your favourite comedian and b) people whose ideals are far removed from your own. This will ensure that your face gives nothing away when Kaley tells you about her Mum’s drunken antics at the pub over the holiday, or for when someone senior suggests a really bad idea and it’s not an appropriate time to challenge. You may also need to work on ‘nod and smile’.

*I take no responsibility for the repercussions of these ideas. It is your choice, and choices have consequences.

All that is left to say is,

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more (Shakespeare) 

All joking aside, we hope that you have an amazing start to term; look after yourselves and each other.

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