Exams and tests can be just as stressful for teachers as they are for students, but there’s no need for you to dread the exam season as well. Here are a few handy tips to keep you at the top of your game.
It’s hard to stay on track – why not plan something fun for the class to do after the exams? It can be something as simple as watching an episode of a relevant tv programme, or playing their favourite game – or even a day trip outside school. Remember to plan something fun for yourself, too! It’s important to stay upbeat and positive – there’s nothing worse for students than a stressed out, negative teacher.
Keep on schedule
Don’t rush to the finishing line. Breaks are important – for teachers and students. Plan everything out in advance, but make sure its flexible if time runs over and keep some space for breaks. Let your students know the schedule, too, as it will help them get organised.
Make the students work, not you
It’s tempting to drill information into students, but that’s not always the best way to get them to remember everything they need to for exams. Why not ask the students to form study groups? Encourage your best students to give help to their struggling classmates by reassuring them that they’ll get better marks that way – teaching helps you learn the subject better. When a student puts their hand up, ask the best students to step in and play teacher. It’s a fun, interactive way to give your students responsibility.
Mix it up
Exam preparation can be boring, so it’s important to keep the activities varied. Get the students to make their own mock exams and make them test each other; this will encourage them to think about the questions on the exam papers, as well as how to answer them. Games can be fun but constructive, too. When it comes to English or History, why not get students to embody historical figures and characters in books, and ask their fellow students to ask them questions?
Remember that it’s ok to be nervous on behalf of your students. Make some time for yourself each day – even if it’s just ten minutes at lunch to listen to your favourite mindfulness app. Try Headspace – many teachers swear by it.