s the summer holidays are coming to an end,now is your last chance to do the essential maintenance required without all the pupils running around. Teachers can make the most of this time to get ahead for the year by doing a little bit of work over the summer to get themselves in the best possible position for the year ahead with their new class, so check out our advice to see if you could be doing anything to get ready for the imminent academic year.
The primary concern should be keeping the school secure and protected over the summer. Schools filled with expensive computers, educational supplies and electronic equipment are a prime target for burglars, so get the driveways blocked off with sturdy barriers and make sure anything expensive has been labelled with ‘smart water’ to help the police identify it. All windows and doors should be properly secured, so teachers should check their classroom windows before they leave for the summer.
If you’re going to be in a new classroom for the year, you could really benefit from the child-free time the summer allows you. Setting up a classroom can be more time consuming than you might expect, and even tasks like backing the walls with paper can take some time. Get all your drawer and peg labels ready, figure out a seating plan based on your class list and check with your teaching assistant that all your learning resources are ready.
Sometimes, a classroom layout just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe the tables face the windows looking over the playground where other classes are doing PE, or there’s a particularly hot corner which makes it difficult for the children to concentrate. Think about shuffling things round a bit if you’re not sure about the layout. You will have all summer to play around with it which you won’t be able to do in September, so the extra summer weeks can be really useful.
The caretaker and cleaning team will probably need to do a thorough clean of the entire site at the very start of the holidays, which should hopefully mean it just needs freshening up before the end. However, any teachers coming in to use resources and prepare their classrooms should clear up after themselves so as not to make the jobs of the cleaners more difficult. This should get them on side for the rest of the year and make them more likely to co-operate with you in the future.
Tyrone Birdham is a school caretaker who has a busy summer
whilst teachers and pupils are all on holiday