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About to start - advice?

Discussion in 'English' started by Adam1985, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. I am new to teaching and just got my first job, which I'm very excited about. I am an English graduate and don't yet have a formal teaching qualification, but will be working towards one once I have started at the school. The school I'm working at is good and the students are apparently generally well-behaved.
    I know that teaching is an art and that techniques for teaching effectively develop over time, but I was hoping I might be able to pick up some advice from here.
    Is there anything you wish you had known before you started? Any books that really helped you? Do you have particular tips of pieces of advice you could share?
    Anything at all, no matter how seemingly frivolous would be greatly appreciated!
  2. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Be prepared to be absolutely shattered - physically, mentally and emotionally. Teaching English is the hardest job I've ever done. [​IMG]
    Be prepared to be surprised, stimulated and excited by the students you teach - by their endlessly varied characters, strengths, needs , ideas, questions. Teaching English is the most stimulating job I've ever done![​IMG]
    Don't expect to finish your work - ever! especially marking - an English teacher's work is never done!
    Pace yourself - be realistic about what you can achieve and how much time you should spend on lesson planning, marking etc. Remember that you have a life too.
    Limit the number of resources you look through when planning a lesson. In my early days as a teacher, I often spent far too long looking through books/source materials/on the internet etc and often ended up with my first choice of text or whatever anyway. There is always somewhere else to look but you risk ending up swamped by choice and running out of time.
    Don't be afraid to ask for advice, guidance and help.
    Don't try to be your pupils' friend and don't try to be liked by them.
    Don't listen to the old cynics in the staff room! They may have earned the right to bemoan everything about education, the current education secretary, the exam boards, the kids, the senior management etc, but they can be poisonous to a young, inexperienced teacher so avoid them.
    Go to the pub with colleagues on a Friday.
    Don't think you can solve every problem/issue for every student or reach every target set. If you help one student to learn one thing in your whole career, you will have done more than many people do in a lifetime. (Mind you, this measure does not form part of Ofsted's checklist!).
    Celebrate!! You are entering a great profession which, with all its faults and frustrations is still often the best job in the world and you finish most, if not every day with some sense of having done something worthwhile.
    Welcome and good luck!

  3. you got the job!! well done, i'm really pleased for you.
    rejentsreject above has said it all. it will be hard at first and forever but it's the best job in the world.
  4. @RR - Thank you - that's exactly the sort of thing I was after. I might just print it out and staple it to my desk! [​IMG]
  5. @sunshine - I did indeed, I'm so pleased! Thank you for your advice in my other thread!
  6. I would suggest you check out the Engllish Edu blog http://english.edusites.co.uk/index.php/blog or just their site:


    A lot of people use another big site, but this site isn't 'death by worksheets' - and you can get 1:1 support, either through the workshops or the blog.

    Definitely worth £30!

    Good luck
  7. I once told a friend who had undertaken her ITT and was at the point of drowning to put things in the following order;
    1) Students come first - you must make sure they get the best education
    2) You come second - the first cannot be fullfilled if this isn't second, do what you need to relax and enjoy your training and your job
    3) The school comes last - they will ask shed loads of you; data, reports, meetings, evaluations, drop-ins, marking, parent contact... but there is always someone above you to help out.
    She said this really helped her prioritise things and reduce her stress. Also - create a really good organisation system for your schemes of works, lessons and material. If you keep organised early on, things will get much easier much quicker as you can reuse things.
  8. adam,
    i've got zillions of good quality teaching resources you can have for FREE if you want them - i no longer teach in a school so it would be good to see them being used again. you will probably want to create your own materials - or at least adapt other people's - so that they suit your students but i have taught lots of different modules to years 7 to 12. let me know what you're teaching and i'll upload anything that's relevant onto the tes site - or i'll send them to you privately if you send me your email address.
  9. Could i get in on that action please?! I'll send you my email address :) I'm starting a GTP in September and trying to build up a bank of useful stuff.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Please do the latter. Yes we always need to adapt/tweak resources but it's really useful to have astarting point, particularly from an experience teacher with tried/tested materials.
    Then your teaching will go on, helping others do the same worthwhile job.
    Don't know if the offer of winning a holiday is still on but if it is there's an added incentive.
  11. That's a very kind offer! I don't yet know what I'll be teaching, but I'll drop you a line to get an idea of the type of resources and also let you know which books I'll be looking at nearer the time.
    Thanks again - that's really good of you!
  12. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    Make sure when August comes around next year, after you have done your first full year, that you relax and enjoy it. Leave school behind and completely chill and regenerate your batteries!!! A great job though!

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