Back to School

And here we are. At the brinks of the new school year where new challenges, new energy, new children (at least for some), and 'same old us' come together after the holiday.

To be honest, I have to admit that I'm never 'same old me'.

Every passed year has enriched me with new experience, new obstacles (and ways how to overcome them) and left me a wee bit more confident at my profession.

However, despite of all the efforts and experience teachers go through, every end of August evokes the same questions in their minds ...

The 3 frustrations every teacher discusses before the 1st of September

... if not publicly on social medias I am sure they meditate on them in their own minds (judging by my own experience).

N°1 ... How to start my first lessons with the youngsters?

The challenge is doubled. Firstly, how to make children like (my) English lessons and secondly, trying to memorise all of those hundred names?

In my belief, any school for young children should be an enjoyable adventure. To 'translate' it into 'children's language', that would sound something like "Don't go too 'schoolish' on me, let's have some fun instead!" 

So, at every beginning of the school year I forget for some time that I am a teacher, but rather invent simple games with children using the ingredients I as well as 'my' children need to become familiar with in order to start a constructive communication. We simply need to know who we are first.


  • children (names)
  • action

Children stand in a circle. A teacher (or a child) calls out two names and the two called children swap places. When the game becomes well comprehended and just before becoming boring, children may do the swapping by running, walking, rolling, crawling etc. 

To make the game even more interesting, the children have to sit down on the chair, which is placed in the middle of the circle, before taking their swapped position. The one who sits first calls out the next two names.

  • children (names)
  • paper of different colours
  • action
There are some coloured smudges (pieces of paper) on the floor. Children form a circle around the smudges while sitting on the chairs.

The teacher says: "Every child, whose name starts with the sound 'M', goes and sits next to the blue smudge."

The children, whose name starts with the called sound, position themselves around/on/next to the smudge and one after another they introduce themselves. Not to sound too 'schoolish', the teacher inquires about the children's names with different invitations (for example: 'So, who are you again?'; 'And your name is ... ?' 'You're Peter, right?' etc.).

You may level the game up by calling out children with 'the last sound' or 'one syllable'.

N°2 ... What should I use for my programme?

I will not delve into details here, for you may know I do not subscribe to any workbook, coursebook or exercise book. I advocate games, action, play ... and for that teachers need some tools. 

About the approach, you can click on CoolPool.

About the teaching tools, you can click on Tools for English class.

About the programme, you can click on Programmes.

N°3 ... How should I put together my yearly plan (LDN)?

Well, if you want to see my yearly programme ... I posted it on my web site and with a click on LDN 2016 you're welcome to use it. 

Only, I incorporated my approach, my tools and my organisation in it. For some of you it may be a blessing, for others ...  I don't know. You tell me.

I wish you all a very good start. If, by any chance, you bump into some obstacles during your school year, here's some positive and encouraging ways how to deal with them: