Back to school: 4 ways to save time before September

With the new term looming, Grainne Hallahan offers four top tips to help teachers get well prepared

Grainne Hallahan

Back to school: 4 tips to help teachers prepare for hew new term in September

Why does September always happen when you least expect it?

One minute, the six-week break is stretching out in front of you, full of opportunity and hope, and the next you're wailing into your planner, or trying to remember where you put your planner.

Consider this your one-week warning. September is coming. 

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But don't fear. You can still get ahead – follow this quick and easy checklist and you ace the first term back.

Back to school: Tips for teachers to prepare for the new term

1. Fill in your planner now 

You know that teacher whose planner isn’t just filled in but has a colour-coded method to sort pastoral from academic, whole-school and departmental, personal and administration?

You can be that teacher. 

How to go above and beyond 

Once you have all your data and report deadlines, work backwards and timetable in when you need to be doing your assessments and gathering evidence for those time-consuming tasks, so you’re not caught off-guard mid-term.


2. Check your wardrobe 

Autumn term means tights and thick cotton shirts and sturdy shoes. All of the items you’ve probably shoved to the back of the wardrobe, gathering dust. Check the soles of the shoes, pockets for holes, and shirts for iron burn marks. 

How to go above and beyond 

Indulge in a bit of make do and mend while you have time. Resoling shoes is better than chucking them and buying new ones. Fallen hems and missing buttons can be sorted now, rather than at 6am the morning when you want to wear something.

sewing cat

3. Get packing your school bag

Whether it is a cotton tote that you heave class sets of books into or a smart satchel full of compartments for your stationery and lunchbox, the chances are it has remained untouched since July.

Dig it out, clean it out and repack it. Then leave it by the door so you don’t have to worry about it until your alarm goes first day back.

How to go above and beyond 

Think ahead: what bag essentials are you going to need next term? Flask for hot drinks when you’re on duty? Gloves for when it gets cold? New tupperware because all the lids have vanished? Sort it out now and win later. Oh, and of course – get stationery shopping.


4. Start meal planning

Meal planning seems like a great idea, but there are plenty of reasons why it just doesn’t work in practice. The main one is time.

So, while you’re lounging around and relaxing, make a four-week meal plan (lunches and dinners) and feel smug that you’ve got the culinary side all sewn up for September.

How to go above and beyond 

If you know your food, you now know your shopping lists, and can even do a bit of batch cooking. Check out this meal planning guide for tips on how to achieve greater efficiency in your meal planning.

muppet cooking


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Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan is Tes recruitment editor and senior content writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @heymrshallahan

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