Preparing for January: A SBP's Guide

Written by Cheryl Campbell 

Three weeks before the end of term is when I usually have to stop myself panicking about everything I can't get done before the end of term and make a priority list of what actually needs to be done. During the last week of term everyone is running around like headless chickens and sorting out performances, Christmas lunches and class parties - this is when I take some time out to write my Spring term focus list.

I've learnt that if I end the Autumn term with a list ready for the start of the next term, I have a much more relaxed time off. It also means that I can get straight down to business next term, especially as there is no INSET day to ease us in gently. 

It's all too easy to start writing a list that then gets longer and longer and longer, so here's how I approach mine:

  • Jot down all the things I was worried about not getting round to this term and put them under one of three headings: Jan, Feb or Spring2
  • Take the items under the first two headings and plot them into the week in which they need to be done
  • Add routine tasks that I muse get done - payroll deadlines, month end, VAT returns

This gives me a top level to do list to start the year with, without drilling down into too much detail right now.

So, my top tips for January are:

  1. Start preparing in the Autumn Term. Write a list of your headline tasks to get started on after the holidays
  2. Plan for the first half of term and put tasks against the weeks
  3. Put very little into week one. You will inevitably spend the first few days troubleshooting PCs/the boiler/photocopiers etc. If you don't have to postpone things to be everyone else's fairy godmother, it will do wonders for your irritation levels!



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