Starting your first teaching job is both exciting and daunting. Here is some advice to ensure your first post goes well.
- Check out your contract to get to grips with your terms and conditions.
- An induction day will give you a good overview of the school and how it operates. You are likely to be given some essential policies to read.
- You should be allocated a mentor.
- Ask for your timetable at least a few weeks before you start to help you prepare for planning.
- You will be given a staff badge and lanyard as well as an email address and computer with access to the school system. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are not offered.
- Get to know other staff. Not just your team but also the site agent, cleaners and office staff. You never know when you will need them!
Marking and Assessment
- Get familiar with your school’s policy on assessment and marking. It varies enormously amongst schools, and you will hopefully find there is a consideration to staff wellbeing. Make sure you understand the difference between marking and feedback.
- Find out about the assessment calendar and how you will gather data. Ask how it will be used to benefit the student’s progress
- Hopefully your new school will hold regular CPD sessions on feedback and assessment to ensure that best practice is adopted.
Planning and Curriculum
- Liaise with your team leader to look at the curriculum overview in your subject to see what the expectations are for long term planning.
- It would be usual in your first job to be given a scheme of work. You would not normally be expected to write a new scheme.
- Education culture has shifted towards less detailed lesson plans, but individual schools will have their own expectations. Find out what your manager expects from you and discuss the effect on your workload if you feel it is too much.
- If you are to be a form tutor, find out what you are required to do. It is more than taking the register and there is often an element of SMSC to be taught for which there may be a curriculum overview.
- Ensure you have read the school’s Teaching and Learning Policy.
- Always position yourself so you can see the whole class.
- Develop effective routines in your classroom.
- Remember your questioning. This is probably the simplest and yet most powerful technique to develop a lesson effectively.
Safeguarding and Behaviour
- You should be given safeguarding training early on. Expect this to be an annual event. It is important.
- Learn the steps required to comply with your school’s behaviour policy. Consistency is very important to the students, and it will help your confidence.
- Don’t forget that as a member of school staff you also have a right to be safeguarded. Threatening behaviour should always carry a consequence and you should feel supported by the senior management team.
Work Life Balance
- Time management and being organised are essential skills to develop in your first year if you have a hope of coping with the workload and avoiding burnout. Plan your time to be used effectively but also plan how you will relax outside of work. It is important.
- If your school has a good retention rate, then hopefully the senior leadership team place an importance on wellbeing. Always seek help from someone more experienced if you are struggling.