The days are hot and long, it’s not quite late enough in the term to abandon lessons for extra rounders, despite popular public belief, you are not ‘winding down’.
Instead, the timetable is as busy as ever with transitions, sports days and productions. Less structure also means more planning for those whose needs don’t appreciate a change in routine.
Teachers’ minds move to next year. SLT desperately consider who works well (and doesn’t work well together), as well as attempting to distribute experience to ensure that at least someone might know what they are doing in September!
What can leaders do to support their teams at the end of term?
Having been on both sides of the fence, both waiting with trepidation for September plans to be announced and also part of the planning process, here are my 5 top tips.
1. Let people know where they will be working ASAP – I worked in one establishment where the LSA team still didn’t know on September 4th what class they would be in! Let staff know as soon as you can to alleviate any worries about change and allow them to plan ahead for next year.
2. Classroom changes – where staff are changing rooms, make it a team effort and give them time to do it. The children love to help as well so allow staff to get them to help with carrying things. Provide time to get going with displays. It’s not right for staff to give up their summer to sort out their classroom.
3. Transition conversations – ensure time is given to staff to find out about their new cohorts, read paperwork and liaise with previous teachers. Especially for pupils with additional needs.
4. Planning time in new teams – help staff be prepared by allowing them to work in their new team and plan ahead sufficiently. Even if you give them twice as much time as usual, it won’t be enough!
5. Heat – make an effort to keep classrooms cool. No one can complain they are hot until they’ve attempted to teach 30 sweaty children in temperatures over 35°. Invest in fans and put in a plan for air con in the future as it’s getting hotter! No one can function at their best if they are overheating.
Finally, keep asking staff what would help them and remember your staff, just like the children, have individual needs as well to ensure that they can give their best.