Starting the New School Year Strong - Strategies for PDHPE And Community & Family Studies Teachers

Feb 01, 2024

 As a new school year begins, it's important for PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers to start off on the right foot. Here are some key things to focus on at the start of term using the six step process in the form of the acronym ACTION. 

Advocate for Yourself
As the school year begins, it's important for PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers to advocate for themselves by setting clear boundaries around their workload. Taking on too many additional responsibilities outside the classroom can easily lead to burnout if not managed carefully. PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers need to discern what non-teaching tasks are truly essential versus nice to have, and feel confident saying no when commitments become unsustainable.

Self-advocacy does not mean abandoning school support altogether. The key is self-awareness - understanding personal limits while also communicating capacity transparently with leadership. For example, a PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teacher may decline taking on a new sporting team or being part of the school musical if already stretched thin with marking and planning, but offer to help in other ways like supervision duties. Tact and compromise are important when setting limits. Overall, advocating for oneself allows a focus on core student-facing roles rather than being pulled in too many directions.

Communicate Openly
Open communication is equally vital for the start of a new term. Both personal and professional challenges that teachers face should be discussed with appropriate colleagues. On a personal level, struggles outside of work like health issues or family concerns will naturally influence performance if not addressed. Rather than ignoring potential impacts, PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers need to feel comfortable bringing up struggles with trusted peers or leadership.

 Professionally, keeping leadership teams informed early about curriculum hurdles or concerns facilitates timely resolution. Your leadership team is better equipped to provide flexibility, extra resources or adjustments if aware of challenges. At the same time, communicating classroom progress and successes keeps everyone informed and fosters collaboration across year levels. Overall, open communication is key to addressing issues constructively before they escalate.

Translate New Changes

With constant curriculum, policy and budget changes occurring, taking time to thoroughly understand new information is important. Simply reading updates is not enough - PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers must translate requirements into clear next steps for implementation. This involves unpacking documents to discern timelines, priorities and alignment with existing scope and sequences. It may also require seeking clarification from mentors or curriculum authorities when confusion arises.

Well-planned resources like scope and sequence documents with linked assessment tasks and activities then allow structured delivery of revised content. Thorough translation of changes into the classroom context prevents delays and ensures all learners receive consistent instruction. It is a vital first step to incorporating changes successfully into practice.

Initiate Goals and Needs

Self-directed growth and development should remain high priorities for teachers each year despite other demands. Rather than assuming support will be provided, educators need to initiate conversations around specific goals, interests and learning needs. Whether through individual professional development plans, collaboration with subject coordinators, or independent research, PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers must take ownership of advancing their skills.

Areas of focus may include developing deeper content PDHPE & Community & Family Studies knowledge, strengthening instructional strategies, accessing relevant resources or attending conferences. Proactively seeking out opportunities tailored to individual goals, rather than passively accepting what is offered, better supports continuous improvement. Overall, self-advocacy and clear communication of needs is key to goal achievement.

Orchestrate Support

For PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers new to year levels, subject areas or leadership roles, dedicated support systems become critical. Whether through peer observations, co-planning meetings or one-on-one mentoring, proactively organising assistance tailored to the role helps build confidence. Where possible, negotiating lighter face-to-face teaching loads, assessment duties or extra guidance until skills consolidate can smooth transition periods.

Rather than relying on default school support, PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers should consider their specific needs and confidently request the type of help most valuable. This may involve liaising with subject coordinators to arrange regular feedback discussions or swapping classes with experienced colleagues. Taking initiative establishes the right foundation for success in unfamiliar areas or new responsibilities.

Negotiate Expectations

Finally, coming to a clear agreement on role requirements, responsibilities and boundaries through open discussions with administration prevents ambiguity down the track. Having early conversations to clarify task scope, time commitments and parameters allows PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers to confidently commit to new challenges assured of expectations. This mutual understanding of what is reasonable fosters positive working relationships.

Whether taking on new leadership positions, curriculum responsibilities or extra-curricular roles, setting expectations is important. It provides reassurance for teachers and helps administration support workload management. Overall communication and negotiation establishes a collaborative partnership for the year ahead.

If you would love support from us in 2024, we have a number of different ways we are working to protect the time, energy and wellbeing of PDHPE & Community & Family Studies teachers this year. You can join us in one of our memberships K-6 or PDHPE 7-10 PDHPE, The CAFS Collective and/or The Health and Movement Science Membership. Our trusted CAFS EEC, Child Studies, SLR and PASS packages and resources are a sure way to get the support you need to maintain balance throughout the school year. Find out more at