September is the time of year when many schools welcome new teachers and support staff to their settings. Getting your induction process right is critical in ensuring new staff feel valued and confident.
We all know that first impressions count. In many ways, induction is about making a positive impact and setting up new staff to succeed.
The difficulty is that there is often far too much time spent on delivering information compared to building relationships and making people feel part of a team.
Think about who is responsible for induction at your school. One person having ownership can make a big difference in how well it is carried out.
This guide will share some ideas to improve your school’s induction process.
Avoid Information Overload
Think about the ways you can deliver information without overwhelming staff.
Of course, lots of vital details must be conveyed, but nobody will remember it all if they sit through a long presentation.
Break down information into essential messages that should be conveyed in person and put the rest in easy-to-read documents that can be digested later.
Use Your Online skills to Prepare Recorded Induction Sessions
If the Pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we have the skills to record lessons. Use these strategies to put together an informative welcome induction that can be viewed by new staff before they attend on their first day.
It can be very reassuring for new staff to have some ideas about expectations before they start, and a video can be used at any time of year when new staff start at the school.
Watching before their start date will allow them to formulate questions and clarify any potential issues early on.
Keep things Moving
As teachers, we know listening passively is a sure way to lose people’s interest, so apply this to your induction schedule.
Send off new staff with a school map to tick off all the places they need to know about. This will allow them to chat and build relationships while orienting themselves.
Follow up reading material and videos with quick-fire quizzes. It will ensure that all remember vital topics such as health and safety.
Your induction lead can set up a messaging group for new staff where they can answer questions as they arise.
Set Aside Time to Meet Colleagues
Your new staff will need at least half a day to spend with their team.
Encourage team leaders to establish a structure for setting expectations and involving new staff. When a team is busy setting up for the new term, it can be easy to neglect a new team member and waste the opportunity to ensure they are fully integrated.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Feedback
As schools, we often forget to ask staff their opinions. A short questionnaire is an easy way to determine whether your induction process has been effective.
Use suggestions to improve the process for the next intake.
Good luck to all the new teachers and support staff starting at new schools, and here’s to establishing great relationships and building supportive and effective teams.