5 ways for teachers to prepare for the term

  • 4 minute read
  • 19 January 2022

As the start of Term nears, there is a lot to think about, especially when a brand new cohort of students will be walking through those classroom doors in a few short weeks. It’s hard not to wonder what the new year will bring, what challenges will arise, and what each student will be like to teach. But all of these thoughts can quickly take over and turn from nervous excitement into unwanted stress if you’re not feeling prepared enough. 

One easy way to help settle those first week back worries is to start getting organised early, so that you can walk into Term 1 feeling calm and confident. To support our community, we have put together our top 5 tips to help teachers and leaders prepare for 2023.

Check where your students are at in their learning

Meeting the needs of students is the highest priority for any teacher, but it’s difficult when every student’s needs are different, despite all being assigned to the same class. 

To have the biggest impact in the classroom the most important thing to pinpoint early on is where each student sits in their learning journey. But this can be one of the hardest things to determine. It can take nearly a whole year to collect the data needed to get a detailed understanding of a student’s ability. And by the time each student’s learning gaps are discovered, it can be an overwhelming challenge to fill them all before the school year ends. 

So how can we find every student’s understanding of the curriculum in the first few weeks of the school year? The Maths Pathway Diagnostic Tool gets teachers the access they need to detailed student data and it’s completely free. 

So how does it work? The diagnostic test runs for as little as 30 minutes and uncovers individual student gaps. By the end of class, you’ll have a clear picture of the spread of ability in your classroom and be able to use the tool to group students by learning profiles. Making it easy to address learning gaps, apply personliased learning and set students up for a successful year. 

Think about what you need to have a successful year

A successful year looks different to everyone and this is why focusing in on your needs is essential. A personalised plan of what you want to achieve for yourself and your students is the best way to ensure you stick with it. So what do you need to have a successful year? We’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started. 

  • Find the perfect planner. Creating a place where you can document your plan and how it’s going is a great way to stay on track. Make sure there’s enough space to keep developing your ideas for the classroom and the goals you set for each term.
  • Start researching professional development that will support your teaching. Getting the approval and funds from school can take a while so start thinking about it now. Find a session or event that will support your growth and offer ideas and resources that you can apply to your classroom. Check out Maths Pathway’s PD sessions here.
  • Build relationships with colleagues. The start of the school year is the perfect time to make some new friendships. Take opportunities in the staffroom to spark up conversations with people you don’t know so well yet. Conversations about the holidays, term plans and advice/tips on things you want to improve on this year are all easy icebreakers. 
  • Find ways to stay active and keep a clear mind even in the busiest times. Walks at recess, a meditation on the train to school and carving out weekly time with friends and family are all easy ways to stay calm during the school year. 

Start building a bank of classroom resources 

Having a bank of resources and activities to go to when you’re planning out a particular lesson or need a quick activity to fall back on is a time saver. Other teachers can be a blessing when it comes to finding resources. Reach out to colleagues teaching the same subject as you and find a place where you can all collate your best activities, resources and ideas.

The Media Library is a hidden gem when it comes to lesson plans, energisers, webinars, rich tasks and downloadable resources. Plus you can access helpful tips from teachers and experts like Dan Finkel and Eddie Woo. Other great resources you can find online are Estimation 180, Math for Love, Which one doesn’t belong and EngageME Mathematics

If you have any resources that you think might be useful for our teacher community, send them through

Find out if the Australian Curriculum Review impacts you 

The Australian curriculum review has been a hot topic since it was first addressed in 2020 and although each state has its own curriculum they are all based around the Australian curriculum so this review will impact everyone. There is a lot of information to get through to truly understand how and when it will impact your classroom. So we have done the hard work for you. You can access everything you need to know in easy to read language all in one place, on our Australian Curriculum Review page for maths teachers and leaders. Find out what’s happening in your state over the next 3 years and access free resources to help with the adjustment. 

Plan your strategies to support student wellbeing

School can be a place that triggers unwanted emotions for students. Especially around stressful times like assessment periods. So making sure that you offer students helpful strategies to deal with these emotions will support their success all year round. Simple things like slow breathing exercises at the start of class and creating a safe space so students feel comfortable to come to you for support are great strategies to implement. However there are also more tangible ways to promote student wellbeing, there are  in-school programs with companies like Project Rocket who champion respect between students online and in person or Grow Your Mind who offer digital programs for primary schools to help build positive mental health in students from a young age.  

Author: Maths Pathway

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