Behaviour: Preparing for the new school year

Weekly updates from Tom Bennett with advice and tips on behaviour and classroom management

Yes, I know. By now you’ve all made a Wicker Man of your lesson plans and plugged yourselves into the Matrix. I get that. Believe me, I don’t for one minute want to suggest that you should do anything for the next few weeks other than purge your chakras of toxins and lounge around in the South of France. Seriously, knock yourselves out. That’s what all sane teachers are doing.

Whatever your situation, here are three things to remember when calling home:

But being a teacher needs a little work behind the scenes. You know that bit in Cribs (or Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous if that’s too MTV) when the superstar shows the camera team around the house, gets to the garish recording studio next to the gold bathroom, and goes, ‘This is where the magic happens’? Well, sometimes outside of the school is where the magic happens.

Here’s what you should do to make sure that when the teaching machine grinds to life, you don’t get ground to bone-meal in the cogs.

Have one last look at the work you’ve brought home

Now, be honest. How important is it? I’m guessing it can wait a bit. So take that last look at it all, ask if any of it is of burning importance (in which case, do it now, or it will bite you on the ass in six weeks) and then do what you do with the rest of it: PUT IT AWAY.

If there is anything you wanted to achieve, teaching-wise, over summer then make sure you order what you need in the first few days

Book the course. Pay for the book, the magic pen, whatever floats your boat. That allows you to…

Have a clear, unfettered holiday, free from the worries of your job

This job is fabulous, but it will drive you round the twist with the pressure and the emotions. That’s the job. And THIS is why we need the holiday. So make sure you have a proper holiday, not some curate’s egg of work and worry and watching telly. This isn’t a long weekend; it is a different phase of the year. Make it count. Get your head back in order, and you’ll be twice the teacher you would be otherwise.

And that is the goal of the whole thing. Don’t let ego, fear or laziness stop you calling home. The relationship with the parent is almost as important as the relationship with the child.

Good luck, and have a bloody lovely summer. I will. *sips Mojitos on yacht*



Tom Bennett is the TES adviser on behaviour and a teacher at Raines Foundation, an inner city state schoolin Tower Hamlets. He regularly supports teachers on TES through our behaviour forum and monthly newsletterson behaviour. Read more from Tom on our behaviour forum or on his blog or Twitter

His latest book, Teacher, is out this month, published by Continuum/ Bloomsbury


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