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Dear James

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by libra2024, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Dear James,
    Having been unemployed since qualifying in June, I have finally been offered a maternity cover with a Year 4 class and start on 5th December! [​IMG] I'm really excited, but also very nervous, especially as it feels quite odd taking over the class 2 weeks before the end of term.
    I've already spent one day in school with the class and their current teacher and managed to find out a fair bit, but am going in again on Tuesday and could really do with some advice on the most important things I need to find out and get sorted, as well as ideas for how to make the transition smooth for the children (and perhaps a bit easier for me!) when it actually comes to it. I'm really feeling the break out of the classroom since June at this point!
    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!
  2. ESLAB

    ESLAB New commenter

    Hi, For what it's worth, my advice would be to do a lot of talking with them/getting to know them! In some ways, obviously a very difficult situation, but in others, quite nice to have two weeks where you can really get to know your class and not be expected to do too much actual teaching. On a practical level, find out asap what whole school plans are already in place in terms of what you need to do for Christmas - is there a play that needs to be practised? Or a Carol Service? etc. What about class parties? Assemblies? Everything that your class needs to attend. Then I would plan some really great activities linked to Christmas. Stick with doing as much Maths and Literacy in the mornings and then find some crafts to make etc for the afternoons. During the afternoons, hopefully you will have a TA who can monitor the children, I would pull each child aside and assess their reading levels. During these two weeks, I would also set a Maths test and an Independent Writing task and then compare with existing levels which will be passed on to you. You will then have time before January to think about your groupings etc. (or to agree with what is currently in place). Even though it will be a time for fun, I would go in very strong with high expectations on the behaviour front. For example, transitions, lining up, if you do carpet time have seating places etc. Explain your stop signal and insist on it (remember NEVER talk over them). Look at existing class rules and check the class are still happy with them or would like to change them. I would work together with the children - ask them for help with where things are or how they like doing things also. There is so much I could say...but at the end of the day, we are all different and you will have your own ideas too! Have fun and enjoy your new class - it will be a lovely time of year to get to know them all! Good luck.

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