As a teacher who is coming into contact with around 30 children a day its highly likely that at least one of those children (if not more!) will have coughs or colds and will be showing all the usual symptoms including runny noses, coughs, sore throats, eye infections and sickness.
Coming into contact with so many different germs on a daily basis could easily result in you getting ill and possibly needing time off work which is far from ideal. It’s important therefore to eliminate the spread of these germs as much as possible.
Firstly, it’s important to teach the children about good personal hygiene as not all children will be aware and some young ones will need reminding. Ensure your students know to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze and then wash their hands with soap and warm water.
Next, ensure that communal spaces are cleaned with disinfectant regularly and speak to the cleaners about this if there are any issues. Toys, games and activities should also be disinfected regularly to ensure that germs are not easily spread from child to child.
Making sure that children wash their hands after going to the toilet or playing outside is essential and especially important before eating as this is the most likely cause of any spreading of germs.
Lastly always ensure that you have a healthy diet supported by vitamin supplements were needed to provide you with a strong immune system for the best protection against germs.
If you have recently qualified as a teacher then you may have the option to go in to supply teacher or a permanent position. Supply teaching has many advantages that may attract you to the position. You can either register with a teaching agency to find work or you can chose to go it alone. You will most likely need to register with the local councils to be put on the list of supply teachers.
One of the benefits of supply teaching is that you get the opportunity to work with children of all different ages. This will give you the experience you need and will also help you decide what year you would like to teach if you do decide to go for a permanent position further on down the line.
Supply teachers often get paid more per day that permanent teachers. This means that you may only have to work 3 days a week to make up the salary you would earn full time.
As a supply teacher you will have less responsibility, which attracts many people to the job. You often will not have to plan lessons as teachers usually plan the lessons in advance so you will be able to work off their lesson plan. You do need to bear in mind that you will not get paid through the holidays as a permanent teacher would, so have to budget your money accordingly.
As a teacher you have a duty of care to the pupils in your class. Their parents are putting their trust in you and it is important that you have their safety as a number one priority. When you are teacher, especially if it is a large class, it is easy to become distracted with one pupil if they are in need of help or causing a distraction. When this happens you should be sure that you have a TA or another teacher on hand to help you should you need to leave the classroom or not be able to talk to other pupils. Schools are often under staffed due to budget restrictions, so you may not always have a TA with you. Many schools have a walkie-talkie system or phone system in place to allow you to contact other members of staff quickly should you need to.
When working with items that could be dangerous such as scissors for younger children or chemicals, you may decide to do this in smaller groups rather than a whole class activity. Set other work for the pupils to be getting on with and rotate the groups round so that everyone has a go. This will allow you to keep more control of the situation and access what is going on.
If you are a teacher and have just had the six weeks off school then you will probably not be particularly looking forward to returning soon. Often teachers return to school a few days before the pupils do so that they have time to get their classrooms ready and to have meetings to find out about changes and updates that may affect them.
It is important to get yourself back in to your normal work routine at least a few days before returning to work, so if you have enjoyed laying in until 10am or heading off to bed at 2am you may want to start to adjust slowly the week or so before you go back. This will allow your body clock time to adjust and get used to your sleep pattern again.
Rather than thinking about the negatives of returning to work, try and think positively and give yourself some goals as to what you want to achieve in the year to come. Making lists of to do tasks can help organised a cluttered mine. You may want to make daily or weekly ones as well as long term lists for the next few months or year ahead.
For a lot of children when they start school is when their education starts and they begin without being able to read or write and will little understanding of counting and math. However, the children who have already started their education from an early age at home are given a much greater advantage in class and tend to advance much quicker than those with little to no past education experience.
So where do you start?
Studies show that you really can begin early with children as young as 6 months old. Simple exercises such as number recognition with blocks is a great place to start. Lay 3 blocks in a row, then stack 3 on top of each other, then place them on the floor in a pattern and show your child each time saying “there are 3 blocks” this teaches them what “3” looks like in physical terms, you can then try with different amounts of blocks.
Showing them written numbers from 1-10 will also help their understanding.
To help start their communication skills early it can be useful to attend baby signing classes, this teaches your baby a very basic form of a sign that they can use to communicate with you before their speech has developed. Generally, babies that learn to sign tend to speak much sooner and have a larger vocabulary.
So start early and make it a game that way learning new skills will be fun for both you and your child.