Published on: 02 Sep 2015

Help them to understand that the buffet of life is open and that they have a choice. This means that they can be anything that they want to be. Therefore we have to inspire them to choose kindness and to aspire high.

The Promise the New Academic Diary Brings: A Fresh Start

Beccie Hawes, Head of Service at Rushall's Inclusion Advisory Support Team, Rushall Primary School

It’s here! The new diary that, like all good teachers promise themselves every year, will be the neatest one ever. Gone will be the crossings out, the piles of paper shoved in it in a rush after a meeting and the malfunctions that mean I should be in at least three places at once.

This diary will revolutionise my teaching career as I am sure that this will be the one that makes me organised. This will be the one that stops me losing things and dashing from one thing to the next in a discombobulated fog. I’ve already started writing in it with my best joined-up hand writing and in pencil so that mistakes can be erased forever.

Actually, in reality, I’m not so sure. I think that the intentions are all good but by the end of this week, I am sure I will have my usual messy diary because I won’t be able to find my pencil or my eraser.

However, I’m in love with the idea of a fresh start – the chance to learn from my mistakes, put them behind me and move forwards. I also think that is what we need to give some of the pupils that we have the pleasure and privilege of teaching. Some pupils need our help not become the negative self-fulfilling prophecy that other people put upon them.

It’s easy for us as the supposed grown-ups because a new diary can symbolise strong resolve, opportunity and a drive to be better. Some of our pupils don’t have that because it has all been knocked out of them by ‘big’ people. By big, I don’t mean tall, I mean big in terms of the value our students rightly or wrongly put upon them. As teachers we are some children’s ‘big’ people, maybe their only big person, so I ask us all to give our children a daily new diary moment and to remember the following:

1. No matter how hard and how often they have made you mentally draft your resignation find something positive about every pupil and say it to them every day.

2. Help them to understand that the buffet of life is open and that they have a choice. This means that they can be anything that they want to be. Therefore we have to inspire them to choose kindness and to aspire high.

3. Treat each day as a fresh start with a wealth of new possibilities and opportunities. A chance to do better than yesterday!

4. Help our pupils see that they are people with the capacity to change the world for the better.

Every day is a fresh diary day. Deep breath and push forwards for you and your pupils!

Follow Beccie on Twitter @riatws4

Assessing students with EAL

Sue Thompson talks about the different approaches to assessing students with EAL.

Using computerised assessment with SEND children

Jo Horne explores the advantages and disadvantages of using computerised assessments with special educational needs (SEND) children.

Multiple-choice questions - not as simple as they seem

Mirkka Jokelainen addresses the question how can we ask students to demonstrate thinking skills and the ability to apply knowledge by ticking a box?

Girls with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

John Galloway discusses how we can identify and support girls with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.