Our Top 5 TPTC Picks to Get You Organised for the Year Ahead

Rachel Turner

Each year, I struggle to believe how fast September comes around. It's the most exciting time for us as teachers: a brand-new class; a fresh start in our classrooms; and a determination to be the most organised teacher any child has ever seen!

I often get asked, especially by NQTs, what I would recommend as my top TPTC essentials. So here it is- the most difficult list I have ever made! As everyone always says- I could buy everything!

 

  1. Teacher Planner

The teacher planner: it’s where TPTC first started back in 2017. I designed the TPTC planner after being given the same planner every year since I was an NQT, pulling it out from a pile of papers to take to a staff meeting, doodling in it and then putting it back under the same pile of papers. I went on to design the TPTC planner: a planner teachers actually find useful! It has to be my number one essential now. I absolutely couldn’t be without mine and I know there’s so many of you out there now that would say exactly the same thing!

 2. Support Assistant pad

I have used this format for organising adults in my classroom for years, but finally getting it onto a handy tear off pad has done wonders for my workload and is now an essential part of mine and my TA’s day. If you’re an NQT or trainee teacher, saving these pieces of paper is a great way of showing evidence that you can organise the use of adults in your classroom too.

3. Praise Cards

As I’ve written about in my previous blog post, having a meaningful reward system is essential to every classroom. With tens of designs now, there’s a card to suit every child, whatever age! Also check out our praise card holders which are useful for storing them on your desk.

4. Marking and feedback sheets

Whether you’d rather have them on a tear off pad, or in a bound book, our marking and feedback sheets are designed to take the work load out of ‘marking’ and increase the effectiveness of the feedback you give to children. Starting out the year with an ethos of effective feedback rather than lengthy marking is essential for September.

5. Teacher Wellbeing Cards

Happy teachers make for happy children. What makes a happy teacher? Someone who feels appreciated and trusted in their role. I have a stack of wellbeing cards and love to write one to staff around school, letting them know that we all know what a great job they are doing. Sometimes all it takes is a note on a postcard to make someone’s day!

 

So, there they are! Even though I could choose everything (and of course I’m biased), they are the essentials that I’ll be starting my year with in September.

 

I need to sneak one tiny little one in though, but I think I’m allowed seeing as though they are limited addition. These brand new, limited edition Praise Cards were made with September in mind. They work beautifully whether teachers write on them with a positive message to start the term for each child or the children decide upon their target/s for the year and record them on to something special that they can then keep. 

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How can you tell the TPTC planners are made by a teacher?

Rachel Turner3 comments
If you all watched my Instagram Live earlier this week, you’ll know that I’ve been so excited about next year’s planners that I’ve already started using mine! Every single page of the new planners has been carefully designed to make sure it keeps every teacher organised: no matter if you’re an NQT, RQT, on SLT, SENDCO or been teaching for years. So here’s what to expect in the new planners and how you can use them. Enjoy!

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Reward systems: do they really work?

Rachel Turner
I’ve been reading about behaviour management recently and there seems to be a common theme: most 'traditional' reward systems have very limited impact. This also aligns with my 10 years as a classroom teacher. What I've experienced and much of the theory states that extrinsic rewards don’t make for well behaved children in the long term, it makes for either children who don’t care about the rewards or children who will only do something for a reward. This resonates with my experience, but only if the reward system is empty... if there’s no heart behind it...

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Guest blog: Effective Communication In The Classroom

Rachel Turner

I'm very happy to have my first guest blogger this week. Sam is an experienced teacher, discussing the challenges of effective communication in the classroom. I was thrilled to be contacted by her regarding how TPTC has helped her with this, so asked her to put it 'on to paper' as I believe her story may resonate with many fellow teachers out there. Thank you Sam…

Gulp… I have just moved from teaching Year 3 for 8 years to Year 1. Before teaching Year 3, I taught Year 5 for 4 years. Yikes! I’ve never taught KS1 before and have had to start everything from scratch. All of my lessons and resources have been made by me to suit my class this year. I’ve not had the option of adapting planning or activities from previous years as I’ve never taught Year 1 before. Therefore I have been busy. Seriously busy, getting to grips with 'the jump'! However, I like a challenge so I was very eager to get stuck in!

So far it's been fabulous but a bit of a whirlwind for me and my TA. Time was already scarce, but recently with my other roles in school, it's nearly impossible to have quality time with my TA that our working relationship deserves. We were like ships passing in the night. As so many other members of school staff find, we would say hello in the morning, goodbye at the end of the day and not much else in between, other than a snatched conversation at lunch and even that was when we weren’t setting up resources or on duty. Post-it notes and spare exercise books definitely played their part in terms of communicating with my TA, but when I saw the planner pad that The Positive Teacher Company was offering, I just had to have one.

You can just tell that they are 100% made by a teacher. I mean, who doesn’t want to save a bit of time here and there? It was a no brainer. And I don’t regret it. For a minimal price, I can now communicate with the TA and we both know what’s to happen during the day. We both feel a lot more organised and like we have much more time. Not only that, but it’s even got space to put extra information and jobs on. The TA loves it too. She pins it up on her noticeboard with pride every day. She ticks off the jobs as she does them. She makes notes to herself on it. She’s even told me how much she loves it and how it helps her during the day.

Honestly, it takes minutes for me to fill in by hand and she’s got all the information she needs right there as soon as she comes in. It’s also a great tool for her to refer back to during the day if she’s not sure how to do something or if there’s something she’s forgotten.

Have you used any of our products successfully in your classroom practice? Would you like to write a guest post for us? Email enquiries@thepositiveteachercompany.co.uk

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I hate marking: I love giving feedback!

Rachel Turner
A summary of why and how I completely changed my attitude towards feedback and how you can too.

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I’ve given up marking and here’s why you should too...

Rachel Turner2 comments
I talk about my previous experience of marking and how whole class marking changed how I planned my week.

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Ahhh I have a voice!

Rachel Turner3 comments
My very first venture into blogging. A little bit about me. Enjoy :)

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