Make the list
Happy New Year. Now that you've lived through the hardest term of your career, do you have any new resolutions?
What about taking your pupils on visits? Trips are both a feat of military precision, planning and dauntingly exhausting, but as Margie Porthouse, a new teacher, says: "When you see children's faces when they encounter the unknown, it becomes obvious why we do this job."
Margie spent two days with her Year 3 class performing at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to audiences of 1,500. It was an amazing experience. She was convinced of the benefits of trips and has two more booked for this half term already and proudly admits: "Boy, am I scouting around for any opportunities that fall under the radar." Aren't the children in her class lucky?
Did you make the most of being on induction last term? It's your professional duty to develop into the best teacher you can be and induction is there to help. Set some targets that will help you make progress towards meeting the core standards. The 10 per cent reduced timetable you get as a trainee needs to be treated like gold-dust, so think about the professional development that will help you most and start booking visits to other staff and other schools. Perhaps you should consider improving the meetings with your induction tutor, making them more or less frequent, longer, shorter, or sticking to a tighter agenda.
But, most importantly, what resolution are you going to set to make you happier? Keeping a social life going will keep you sane. You have 12 weeks a year plus weekends when you aren't in school - that's a lot of time for you to fill. This is a great time of year to book some trips just for you. Pop a picture of your next destination on your screensaver. The world is full of wonderful places waiting to be experienced.
Sara Bubb's (www.sarabubb.com) Successful Induction for New Teachers is published by Sage.