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Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do everything with your students that you want to do during the school year, which is likely to be a significant source of disappointment for teachers who are just starting.

You will probably need to choose which activities to include in your lesson plans, so you must prioritize the most important activities.

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How do you know which activities to include?

While the most important thing to remember is always to ensure that your classroom activities reinforce essential knowledge from the curriculum, it’s also important to ensure that your classroom activities are fun! Many students are likely to learn best through hands-on activities and fun classroom games. Here are a few tips to determine which activities are right for your students:

  • Consider if the activity will help reinforce concepts likely to be on state tests, which is especially important to consider towards the end of the school year.
  • Choose activities that are well-suited to the age group that you’re working with.
  • Give your students a choice of activities they can vote on with a show of hands.

Do you need to have every class planned from the beginning of the year?

Fortunately, the answer to this question is no because being spontaneous can make for a more interesting class! These are a few of the benefits that you’re likely to experience if you have a somewhat spontaneous teaching style:

  • Students will probably find your lectures more interesting, which could make them more likely to retain important information.
  • You’ll be more easily able to give students individual attention, which can improve the grades of struggling students in your classes.
  • You might find that more students comment and ask questions during class, which will likely make the material much more interesting for you and the class!

Understand that the school year can be quite hectic

Teachers are always busy during the school year, and your day isn’t always going to be over at 3:00 pm. You can expect to spend many nights and weekends preparing material for the next class, which is especially likely to be true around midterms and finals. Luckily, these tips can help you adjust to the hectic schedule of the school year:

It’s often the little moments that count the most

Don’t worry too much that you won’t be able to include all the fun activities and interesting information you want. Most students feel that the moments you spend talking with them one on one about concepts they’re struggling to understand or when you give your opinion about an issue they’re struggling with. To make the most of these memorable moments and be seen as approachable, consider these tips:

  • Always make sure that you’re available after class for questions, which is likely to improve the grades of your class as well.
  • Show an interest in stories that students tell you, which is important even if the stories aren’t related to school.
  • Encourage students to talk about what they did for summer vacation, and tell them about what you did this summer.