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How to... start the new school year

Wake up.

Wazzermarrer?

Time to go back to school.

Eeeuuuggghhh.

You can't put it off. What about all those resolutions from last year?

Don't remember.

I'll remind you. Over the summer you were going to paint the house, tidy the garden, fix the fence, valet the car and visit Aunt Mary. From September you were going to prepare your lessons earlier, update your records regularly, spend more time with your family, take regular exercise, cut down on high carb snacks and gin, lose half a stone, and achieve a better work-life balance. Oh, and get up earlier before school.

Hmmmph.

So today's the day. You can't put it off anymore. I've made breakfast (muesli, de-caff coffee, orange juice), put your school bag by the door and laid out your Lycra gear for your early morning run. So what's keeping you?

Nrrrffnn.

Get into that shower. Start as you mean to go on. I'll read out the planning schedule we agreed last month. * Clear out remainder of mess from last term and check state of repairs and redecoration. * Arrange desks and seating to fit the new class. * Collect deliveries of backing and display materials. * Read and prioritise "things to do" list you made last term. * Arrange mark book, registers, set lists, calendar, diary; update them all. * Clean all noticeboards and make new headers. * Create displays relevant to the term's topics and curriculum. * Use photographs to learn names for new classes. * Check all classroom equipment for safety and good order, including leads, stands, bulbs, storage and decoration. * Check laptop for updates and emails. * Check school bag for diary, tissues, pens, keys, passwords, lesson plans, lunch money and muesli bar.

Bbrrrrrrrr.

That's better. Now dry your hair in the easy-to-maintain cut you had last week. Sort out the clothes you bought for your new image. And as you jog in, rehearse the holiday stories you'll share with everyone. As headteacher you set the tone. You'll enjoy it when you get there, hones *

Duncan Grey is author of The First Aid Kit for Teachers, 100+ Essential Lists for Teachers and Getting the Buggers to Learn (Continuum)

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