Tips for teachers & tutors in transition

Teaching, whether within the education system or as a tutor helping students outside formal classes, can be stressful. When you are changing schools, starting with new students or undertaking new teaching subjects it can be even more challenging.

What can you do to make these times easier? Here are our tips for navigating transition:

Starting at a new school

When you change schools, it is like having a clean slate. Whilst past achievements are important, what really matters is how you connect with the new environment.

  1. Get to know teachers and your students. Share about yourself when they ask but make a special point of listening rather than talking.
  2. Learn about your new school before the first day. Get to know the school’s pride points and significant achievements, and if it is in a new neighbourhood, explore the local area as well.
  3. Plan your lessons according to your new school rather than the old one, making sure that you incorporate any relevant cultural sensitivities.
  4. Volunteer for additional activities to help you get to know other teachers and students outside the classroom. This will show a willingness to get involved and be a part of the new school.
Beginning with new students

Summer holidays are important for teachers to wind down and relax, and it is essential you do so to be at your most effective when the school year begins. Balance relaxing and taking care of yourself with some planning and preparing for the year and you will feel confident when you begin again with new students.

  1. Connect with the latest trends in your subject via forums, websites and other media to ensure you are presenting the latest material.
  2. Getting to know your students is one of the first things to do. It helps you understand the best ways to teach them and manage any behavioural challenges. Try some fun ways like asking them to make a short video about themselves to show who they are to share in class, or to work in groups to create a presentation about themselves.
  3. Include them in your ongoing planning by giving them a voice. Take some time to talk to them about their preferences for learning. If some of the ideas are theirs, they will become more involved.
  4. Make it interesting. Students retain more information when they are engaged and involved. Get them up and active rather than confined to their seats.


Teaching New Subjects

Stepping out of the familiar into something new can be frightening. However, if you turn the fear into excitement you may find you excell at the very thing that scared you in the first place. If you are teaching a different class to usual, and are not as sure about the lessons you will be delivering you can try:

  1. Planning and more planning to ensure that you feel comfortable with the subject.
  2. Practice delivering the class material to boost your confidence.
  3. Use visual and other aids to supplement your teaching.
  4. Sincerely enjoy what you do and your students will engage in learning. Teachers always teach best when they are learning too, so share the journey of learning with your students, and you will learn from each other.


Wrap up

Teaching is a tough but rewarding career. For many it’s not a job but a vocation that enables them to communicate skills and subjects they are passionate about to others.

The key to any new situation is breathe. It calms you and helps clear your head. Spend time off doing things that you enjoy. Catch up with family and friends and make sure you destress so you can start the new year fresh. Remember, that you will cope better with the challenges of teaching when you look after your needs first.

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