Back in Black

Getting back to work after a break - for teachers; Being effective after a study break - for students; Personal experience - Kupriyanov Vasily


Whether you have taken maternity/paternity leave or had to deal with health issues, getting back on track after a long setback may pose some issues of its own. What should you do if you get rusty and lose some of your confidence and effortlessness?


Take a moment and think about what teaching means to you. What did you like about it? What were you good at? What aspect of teaching are you least confident about right now? This will help you to narrow it down and focus on things that are more currently relevant. 


After you have established the points of improvement for yourself, look them up on the internet or ask your colleagues. There are plenty of great books for educators as well as online forums, articles, blogs, and vlogs. Reaching out to your colleagues is also a great way of getting the information and support you need.


Ask a colleague to join their lesson and observe their teaching. Use a peer observation form to help direct your attention to the most important aspects. Think o how you would have done the same tasks and take notes on what things inspired you. This alone might stir you to action and reignite that passion for teaching. 


If your workplace has teacher development activities, take that opportunity and join them. It may be a training session, a discussion club, a study group, or a monthly meeting - being around people passionate about the same things as you are, sharing their knowledge and experience, and being willing to answer your questions will make all the difference!


Ask your colleagues to observe your class and give you their feedback. It is immensely helpful to have someone help you see your drawbacks and things that need improvement. You will get valuable advice and specific suggestions for further action.

Be patient

Do not rush things and take it slowly one step at a time. You may feel tempted to fill up your schedule with new students and groups, but you should let yourself adjust to the old routine gradually. 

5 tips on how to be more effective after a long study break

It’s quite common to take a well-earned (and sometimes long) break from your studies. But it can mean your well-rehearsed techniques – and the topics you once knew inside out – become a distant memory. Take a look at these top tips from Kaplan tutors on how to make returning to study after a long break even easier.

1) Don’t take on too many subjects in your first session

Start with one or two subjects and see how you get on managing your work / study / life balance. You can then work out how many papers to sit in one go based on how much work is needed.

2) Brush up on topics or subjects that you skipped because of exemptions

You might find you’re rusty in these areas, but a lot of the time they form the underpinning knowledge of more advanced papers. Make time to review these areas so you start your new papers with a solid understanding of what’s required.

3) Little and often

Don’t expect to start studying and know or understand everything straight away. It takes time and lots of practice. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! So start working from the beginning and work consistently over the months to your exam, little and often, building on your knowledge as you go. Do not leave things to the last 2/3 weeks – this approach doesn’t work with professional exams.

4) Make a study timetable

Realistically decide when you can study during the week, evening and weekends. Warn family and friends that you’re out of action so they buy into it. Set a realistic study timetable (covering learning, question practice, and mock exams) and stick to it throughout your course prep.

5) Use all available “free time”

E.g. lunch breaks at work, train journeys, etc. – it’s easy to practice multiple choice questions or learn calculations in this ‘downtime’. You’ll be amazed how useful and how effective short knowledge bursts can be – and over a sitting how many additional study hours you can find by using these ‘down’ times.

Read the full article here


So here we are, thinking about the nearest future, and not wanting this summer to end. What can we do here, if there is no time to cry on the floor and you just have to pull yourself together? Here are some tips that help me to start dwelling on how things are gonna be:

1. Make a draft plan.

The task is to create a kind of roadmap of what your journey will look like. Think about future assignments and point out necessary things, that matter (and not). This will help to prepare yourself for upcoming events. Also, having a plan will make you feel more businesslike.

2. Think positively.

A lot of bad things happen right there when you think negatively. Stop doing this for your own sake and believe in what you do and don’t underestimate your possibilities. Also, it’s better to check on situations that might happen, if something goes wrong. Then you should have a backup plan and act as nothing happened.

3. Don’t rely on the situation.

When you don’t think about your own attitude it may end up in your own diffident behavior. It’s always better to prepare yourself for sudden changes and everything that may not depend on your actions. By doing everything this way, you will feel confident.

4. It is easier to find an excuse, but planning makes you a professional.

Forget about other things. Find some time to sit down and remember everything you went through and what is waiting for you when you meet at the beginning of the new season. You can simply devote 2 hours a day to become a manager for yourself. That is not that difficult, right?

5. Watch a movie about workers.

Simple, a little bit careless, but can be inspiring. You can imagine as if you were the main character from a movie where everything has to be controlled and done in time.

When I get stuck while thinking about the future, I try to push myself towards the goal. Sometimes it’s hard, really hard to do, but still, I try my best and you should do. Make it clear for yourself, that if you don’t feel confident about the things you do - you will not accomplish the tasks you think you have. Even making a simple bullet-points list is helpful and effective. Earlier, I didn’t think it can be useful. Today, I use a daily planner, where I write tasks with my own hands and I understand what I have to do (don’t type on the computer - this is not helping, for me personally).

Another good point to draw here is that it is necessary to write down everything you have to deal with on the next day - the night before that. This is important, because you may simply forget about something when you wake up, or you may be distracted by something else.

I do hope that these tips will help you do find some time to be more productive while preparing for a new working season after a long break. Have a good time there, and don’t forget to use a pencil and a planner so everything is under control.

That’s all for now!
Stay amazing