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Advice: First day for first ever class.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by NQT88, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. NQT88

    NQT88 New commenter

    Has anyone got any suggestions for someone who's having their first class in January?
    I've been planning with the current class teacher (who'll be there for the first week) and the first day I'm prepping the children for an assessment piece the second day which is good because she's going to help me mark them but I'm not sure if there isn't something else I should be doing as their new teacher.
    I'm also not sure what to do with the current class teacher who really is lovely and wants to talk to them first thing before I am introduced/introduce myself. I would quite like for the children to make her something (a kind of 'our fondest memories') but that'll be difficult if she's there. Should she even be in the class that week?
    Advice/ thoughts are most definately welcome!
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Well i'd launch in as you intend to go on. But then I don't go for all the fluffy "getting to know you" games. I also wouldn't do an assessed piece of writing on their second day, I'd just feel that the children hardly know you or your expectations and won't do as well as perhaps a comfortable class would. I'd leave it a couple of weeks, but that's personal I guess. Also I guess it would be quite uncomfortable having her about, but if that's how she's chosen to do it you don't get much choice. Just be accommodating I guess and smile through it.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm with lillipad about not wasting too much time on 'getting to know you activities' as it's half-way through the year. Use circle time /registration etc for those type of activities.
    There's nothing stopping you doing something for the 'class teacher' when she's gone (on maternity leave I presume?). On supply I've often done a 'Get Well Soon' card for their absent teacher and usually there's a colleague who can take it to them.
    She's probably doing her best to ensure you and the children have as smooth a transition as possible, so notice the way she does things, behaviour charts, use of rewards etc so you can provide continuity at first. Then as you get to know them, you can start to change the things you'd like to alter.
    Have a really wonderful time getting to know that new class.
  4. Don't forget that they are your class - even if the current teacher is there for the first week. She should stand back. I would imagine she wouldn't want to be in there much anyway.
    However I would suggest set your own rules. Don't have more than 5.
    Be firm and remember even though you will be very nervous they will expect you to be in control. The naughty ones will smell fear !. I mean that in the nicest way so stanp on any one who smirks, answers back (Miss j doesn't do that etc)
    Run the class in a regimented fashion. eg Each group stands behind their chair, a group at a time. Then the class line up/leave a group at a time, get their coats a goup at a time etc. sounds simple but the more order you have the better.
    Don't raise your voice. Throat problems are common in NQT's.
    You first class is always the most stressful and you will make mistakes. I stil do after 13 years !.
    You are there to learn too so keep asking questions and admit if you are not sure.
    Why ??
    I wouldn't be happy with that.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm going to say more or less the opposite to most people.

    If the teacher is there for the first week, then let them lead the way. Watch and see what works well and what wouldn't suit you. There will be things you like and want to carry on with, but hadn't thought of. Then there will be things you don't like, but can see working and so carry on with for now. Then things you know you will change a week later. All of this is fine. Next week you can say things like 'I noticed....last week and I actually think it might be better if we....instead. So we'll try it and see.' Don't ask them about changing, just tell them.

    Take time to ask the children what they like about their class and what they don't. You have this fab opportunity to get to know the children informally and in small groups while the current teacher does the teaching part. Don't waste it. You need all this observation to be able to say to the children when they try it on with you later (which they will) "I KNOW you don't behave this way. I KNOW you are better than this, I saw you!"

    Keep talking to the children about becoming their teacher next week and how great it is going to be. Maybe have some things you can mention to them about new topics, etc. Get them excited about you taking over (and ensure they know that you are a fully fledged teacher who will be their teacher and in charge later), while referring to their current teacher for what is and what is not allowed.

    I think the joint handover is a real bonus and you are very lucky. Last summer I spent several afternoons effectively as a TA in with the class I would be taking over. Their teacher was in charge and ran the show, I just got to know the children and read end of day stories and the like. I wasn't moving schools and am not an NQT, but it was still a very valuable time. Make the most of the time you have.

    Oh and relax and enjoy it...you are going to be a real, proper teacher, with a class all of your very own and it is the bestest job in the world!
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I agree with Minnieminx. I just took over a Y1 class, I went in for 4 days last term during which time the teacher introduced me as "your new teacher! Isn't that exciting!" So when I went in today the kids new me. I had a chance to do a story with them, and a circle time and stuff last term.
    See it as a positive!

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