Back to school–time to set some goals

I go back to school today. Unusually, we are starting on a Friday, which is a staff training day. The students return on Monday.

We started our new timetable at the end of last term, but I still haven’t met all of my students, so my main foci this week will be learning names and starting to establish relationships and routines.

Goals for next week:

1. Learn names

Learning names seems to take me longer every year. On my first teaching practice, I knew every student’s name by the end of the week. In my first year of teaching, it took just over 2 weeks. By last year, it took too long to learn everyone’s name.

I would like to know most of my students’ names by the end of next week, so I am going to really target this, using a combination of seating plans, name plates and a cunning plan.

2. Establish routines

I don’t want to spend the entire year telling my students where the tracing paper is, so I will be reinforcing practical classroom routines every lesson.

I also need to get into a routine. My working hours spiralled out of control last year, so I have written myself a schedule for the week and then set reminders on my calendar. My aim is to reduce my working week to below 50 hours. I said that this time last year, will I be more successful this time?

3. Update the Welcome to the Maths Department display

At the end of last year, we challenged some students to draw members of the department. We provided them with photos and asked for a cartoon or drawing. Some of the results were brilliant, here are some of the pictures of me:


Some of the pictures will be going on our ‘Welcome to the Maths Department’ display. I need to get a few more drawings done for new members of staff, so hopefully the display will be complete by the end of the week.


I always plan my week, but my plans often get blown away by the hurricane of the working week. Let’s see how this one goes.

2 comments to Back to school–time to set some goals

  • Lauren Parker

    Starting off a new school year is exciting. I really like that you have goals. Realistic goals at that. Staying organized is hard. i like your idea about keeping reminders on a calendar. Having back to school goals is very important for a teacher as well as a student. To me it prepares you for whats ahead in the year to come.

  • Janae Ivory

    Hello my name is Janae Ivory and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. My major is Secondary Mathematics Education. I am very excited to become a high school math teacher, and reading your post about the goals you have set for yourself for the beginning of the school year has me more excited than ever. Setting goals are very important to me because it is a way for me to stay organized and to keep up with everything. I also want to commend you on trying to learn every students name in only a week’s time because im sure its a lot of names to learn. It was great reading your post, I hope you achieve all of your goals and have a wonderful school year.

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