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first job- what do we need to prepare??????????

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by loui27, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. hi this is a stupid question but what do we need to know and prepare for nqt year? i've just got my first job and met the class but school basically saying c u in september, i'm stressing. what are the most important things i need to find out because going in next week and wana be armed with a list of questions. omg i'm sad.
  2. hi this is a stupid question but what do we need to know and prepare for nqt year? i've just got my first job and met the class but school basically saying c u in september, i'm stressing. what are the most important things i need to find out because going in next week and wana be armed with a list of questions. omg i'm sad.
  3. You need to get your priorities right. Where's the kettle? Is there a staff tea & coffee fund? Where do I keep my mug?

    All I would ask for from a teaching point of view is
    - Have you got a copy of the SoW I could look at over the summer?
    - (Secondary) Have you got a draft timetable and copies of class lists
    - What is the schools daily routine?

  4. Rest over summer! You won't know what's hit you in September and you will get more than enough to do once you start properly. Probably don't want to be preparing materials etc which you might not even end up using.

    Just enjoy the summer!

    Only plan for the first week as EVERYTHING changes once you are there!

    Befriend the TA's and cleaners...they will become your lifeline

    Depending on your subject area, you probably won't need to prepare anything, if possible see if you can get into your classroom (if you have one of your own?) and take some ownership of it (remove existing displays) - create a clean slate to put your own mark and check out where you are going to be working and what you might need, etc.

    As an NQT you should be given guidance of the work, students, classes, etc....so this should be available when you start. If you can get your hands on a copy of the school policy, this could be your summer reading, prepares you for sanctions and rewards, school staff and structure of the school.

    If you are teaching A level you may need to read up on topics to be taught (not all are covered in degrees).

    If you can spend time in the school so you can work out the local geography (where all rooms are - vital in large secondary schools).

    As well as the TAs & cleaners (who probably won't be there in the holidays) get to know the Office staff, caretaker(s) and (for secondary) librarians/lab assistants (for scientists) - all are vital!

    If you can get class lists before hand do a seating plan, it makes you feel in control of the classroom from day one.

    Don?t do too much work in your holidays, no matter how much other people make you feel you ought to. You will work hard enough once you start.

    If you can survive to Christmas it starts getting better after that - days get longer, work load feels easier, kids are trying it on with you marginally less, and you are on the long countdown to summer - YAY!

    Stock up on pens, pencils, board pens etc. Find out what sort of board you will be using - if it's interactive you might want to start getting some bits and bobs sorted for it.

    Oh and have fun!!

    Find out what you'll be teaching first and read up or plan a few lessons. This will make you feel a bit more relaxed in the first week. If you can, get your classroom sorted or go in for a few days over the summer. Try and meet other members of the department, I'm sure the school wouldn't mind you popping in for a day or two before the summer holidays. And finally, relax and take it easy - you won't have much chance to do that come September!

    Get as many resources as you can from colleagues. They will already have taught the stuff and should be able to provide, or point you at, ready prepared stuff. In return you share anything you do with them.

    Think about room layout - carry out a simple risk analysis ... (it's on my mind at the moment, having naively left a key in a filing cabinet in reach of children ... the cabinet is now locked and the key is missing)

    Your Question is so relevant to good teaching, good planning and being organised before your class/es arrive at your classroom in September.

    You might like to look at a new to the market resource; The Interactive Guide to Behaviour Management for Trainee and Newly Qualified teachers. Module 2 gives a comprehensive outline of the tips you are after. Log on www.inclusivebehaviour.co.uk

    I would visit in summer hols and ensure that the room and its equipment functions (and that the previous teacher hasn't walked off with all the keys, remote controls etc. Make sure sockets, IT equipment, IWB, blinds etc all work. The room I took over had been 'mothballed' and needed a spring clean!

    A visit in the last week of term might be better, that way you might get things not working fixed for the start of term.
    Reading all the procedures - behaviour management etc would be useful.

    Get pupil's names and put them in a seating plan, boy girl. This shows that YOU are in charge from the start!

    Be an absolute ba$tard in your first lesson with every group - set your stall out to make sure kids understand that you mean business. This is soooo important as first the kids won't know you.

    Pick every kid up that is out of uniform/behaving badly in corridors. It helps reinforce you as being a hard-un and gets you a reputation for being hard!

    Make sure that you know the behaviour policy inside and out and are completely conversant with it. Kids will smell any weaknesses.

    Talk to colleagues or if possible, try to work out who the miscreants are likely to be - seat them appropriately.

    Make sure you know how to take a register, especially if it is electronic.

    Make sure you know who the HoYs are, especially Y9, 10 and 11.

    Visit your room before well before you start - make sure it is ready for teaching!!

    Walk the school several times to make sure you know where the room(s) you teach in are/where the nearest loos are etc.

    Make sure that you know how to log on, where online subject resources are, where text books/exercise books are, as well as other "important" people for your department.

    Find out who the caretaker is and also your cleaner - you never know when you will need a favour. Also be very, very nice to them then they'll do things for you (chocolates/biscuits!!)

    Make sure you know how to use an IWB and have a pen for one, especially if it is Promethean (and know how to orientate it!)

    Make sure you've got SoWs for everything you're teaching.

    Don't think that you can do everything at once.

    OMG I got right to the end before someone trotted out the old, "don?t smile till Christmas" ****. Relax, don?t worry;
    1. Be prepared to go off topic in the first few lessons to get to know your groups.
    2. Be prepared to deal with people firmly but politely and fairly.
    3. Establish a life, if you are moving somewhere new.
    4. Get hold of the behaviour policy and follow it. Later on you can innocently say, "but I followed the policy" if someone is not as supportive as they should be.
    5. Join a Union.
    6. Stock up your freezer and drinks cabinet and if you don?t have one, get one.

    Finally enjoy your last summer of fun, all the above posts (except for the English quoting numskull and the be a Bas**** idiot) are great pieces of advice.

    Don't take the behaviour personally. Kids test new teachers by giving them hell. Put a brave face on, follow the school behaviour policy and start every lesson with a welcome and a smile, however vile they were in the previous one. It takes time but they will accept you.

    Don't be afraid to ask for support with difficult groups.

    Decide your policy on equipment and stick to it. Are you going to lend pens, sell them, loan them for deposits, refuse to ever lend one? Make your mind up in advance.

    I would agree with some of the sentiment of being a *******. In the first instance it helps for kids not see you as too familiar, distance helps. I strive for aloof and not to be messed with.

    Lining up and checking uniform make-up etc is very important, let's them know they won't even get into your classroom if they don't comply with what you want.

    The first thing you should do with all your classes is establish routines, rules & behaviours. The first ten minutes of the first lesson is the time when you'll have their undivided attention as they try to suss you out. Be Pro-active. Don?t just wait and see what their behaviour will be like, before they even have chance to misbehave tell them how it is going to be. You could go over the list of rules in detail, I've got it down to 2 things now 'I expect you to work' & 'I expect you to behave' Individual issues I bring up as and when. I then make sure I get stuck in to serious work, I find that much better than wishy washy introductory lessons. getting them engaged in the subject asap is much more valuable imho than what they did in the summer work.

    Try to go into school before the summer but after your course finishes that way you can chat to teacher who's leaving, scam resources, get low down etc. With a bit of luck you will also meet some of the kids you'll be teaching, esp useful with exam classes. Say if you're taking over Year 10s when they go into year 11 you will be able to go over what coursework has been done/ which aspects of the course have been covered etc. If they know your face when they come in September they'll be more responsive.

    Have a holiday if you can, do as little as possible.

    Read 'Getting the ******* to behave'

    Look forward to the most rewarding profession :O)

    Go for a nice traditional layout of your classroom and keep it that way till you have got them sussed (at least half term).

    Have a seating plan.

    Show your class lists to the head of year and ask for advice about the characters in there.

    Avoid all the cynical bitchy people in the staffroom. You'll work out who they are by the end of the first week.

    Be hard with classes but soft with individuals.

    Understand you will have to have a staple of bread-and-butter lessons and only a few champagne lessons every week or you'll go mad with stress and fatigue.

    Remember kids always push their luck with new teachers - don't get demoralised.

    Remember they respond 100 times better to praise than punishment so keep things positive.

    Buy some wet wipes, tissues and sweeties!


    Assuming that you're currently completing your training year I would worry about finishing that & meeting the standards before you start thinking about September.

    That it will keep until tomorrow!

    You don't need to reinvent the wheel, use resources that are already there and tweak if necessary.

    Ask for help, you aren't expected to be perfect.

    Not all students will understand one method of doing things, ask other people how they teach a topic and have different explanations.

    Questions can be effective as explanations. In fact generally are more effective, writing lesson plans as a series of questions is good.

    Sleep is your friend.

    Ask for help.

    Be positive and enjoy.

    Get quick at marking.

    Next year much easier!

    Don't expect to be perfect.

    Ask for help.

    You know more than the people listening to you.....

    Don't drink too much coffee during the day, by the time you reach end of school you will be a twitchy wreck.

    Don't try to be excellent EVERY lesson. Good enough is good enough.

    Keep a pack of tissues handy for blood, sweat and tears

    If a student persistently disrupts, plonk them on your HoD so you can get on and teach the others.

    "I am privileged to teach these students and they are privileged to have me as their teacher"

    Don't expect them to be remotely impressed with that visual aid it took you all weekend to make.

    Whatever they say - it's never personal. Illegitimi Non Carborundum, which roughly translates as "Always go home happy."

    Take deadlines as seriously as your students. Don't work all night. Set yourself a time beyond which you will put school stuff away. Stick to it.

    Keep on top of the Admin - Dept mtgs, Staff Mtgs, Form Tutor stuff, Reports etc. Use a filing system and/or diary to manage your time.

    At the end of the day the students have to be convinced that you like them. Remember that they are still children, and some more childish than others. Cut them a bit of slack occasionally.

    Giving up a bit of free time for your students reaps huge rewards. Make the effort to watch that basketball match, that talent show, that school play, that art exhibition. It makes them so proud to see you cared enough to turn up.
    "Children don't care what you know until they know that you care"

    Remember that Maths is not actually the sine qua non of most teenagers' lifestyle priorities. Accept that not every student will share your wild-eyed enthusiasm. That needn't stop you being wild-eyed though.

    Humour is a universal language. Its ability to defuse tension is too often forgotten.

    Talk to colleagues often to share successes and failures and to seek advice. No teacher works alone but all have the support of the whole staffroom.

    Less paperwork, more love.

    quickly befriend the most important person in the school....the caretaker.

    If you want to transfer a previous pension into the teachers scheme it has to be done within 12 months of starting your contract or it is a pain and can be costly!!!

    You will get through less in a lesson than you originally think. After planning go back and cross some stuff out (or maybe that was just me!)

    Seating plans.

    Decide on your policy on equipment and stick to it.

    Kids will swear that they have never been taught a topic before even if they have. You will learn this next year when you ask them what they remember, then remind them that it was you that taught it to them.

    The best way of getting good behaviour is to teach good lessons that are interesting and pitched at the correct level.

    Particularly bad (and very easy to do in maths) is to set them a task that is beyond their ability and then tell them off for not doing it!!

    Make sure that you treat all staff in the school with courtesy and respect.

    In both my schools it has been noted by the site team, catering staff, admin staff etc. that I am one of not that many (sadly) teachers who treat them as equals rather than 'underlings'.

    It is amazing what people will do if you treat them with respect (and amazing how the reverse is true.)

    I try and make sure my first contact with anyone on any given week isn't a 'please can you do this by Tuesday' but rather a genuine pleasantry about the weekend, hols or whatever.
    temiloluwaxo likes this.
  5. Weary *****, I am pretty nervous reading your post - and I only gt halfway down!! Lou must be beside herself! No rest for the wicked, eh? ;-)
  6. I've read that hash of mixed together posts several times now on various threads and to be honest there is too much information to digest and too much of it is repeated to be of any real use. Sorry, but if it were edited to include just the main points it would actually describe pretty much everything that you need to know in order to prepare.
  7. Prepare to be tired... and therefore make sure u sleep lots now! :) x
  8. Hi just ask to go in early to meet your class, find the loo & staff room. Read the policies & ask what lessons you will be teaching in the first week.

    I'm in the same boat. I start in a few weeks time to meet my class & get the layout of the school to find out things, such as where the books are kept, coffee ect! If they haven't told you to go in early ring up to see if you can I'm sure they'd appriciate some incitiave. Also take a list ofthings you would like to know about the school/ first week when you start ;0)
  9. Whatever you do chill out over the summer. You can't plan lessons for kids you don't know anyway - they will only need changing!
  10. thanks 4 all the advice think i will just focus on first week (thats what the teacher i will be wortking with said i thought she was just being unhelpful) but after all this advice think she right i'm gona chill out with my kids over hols and relax because i dont think i will get much time 4 that after sept. thanks again i feel alot less stressed now THANKS xxx
  11. Hello ,

    MERCI Weary ***** for all your good advice!!!
    It really helps alot and cheered me up .
    Ta much lol

  12. Re: removing existing displays - do check before you do this :) At my school, Open Evening is v. early on in the autumn term, so we spend the previous summer term generating display work to fill the acres of space our rooms have. I've just left (to move abroad) and my last job was to put up display work for next term to ensure my successor doesn't have bare walls and no time to fill them...

  13. Everyone in my dept has told me NOT to plan this summer, as the first 2 weeks of term are for introductions and testing anyway.

    They've all told me to have a lovely rest.

    I am going to learn to make confectionary this summer. I've bought a sugar thermometer and everything!

  14. Totally feeling the same as you. Wishing I had a plan, but like one of the other contributors says 'how can you plan lessons for children you don't know yet'. I'm just hoping to get through the first week, and just one day at a time!!!!
  15. indeed one day at a time and surviving each of those days is my only aim
    I want to have a rough overview of what to teach but detailed plans for children you do not know is only going to end in double the workload
  16. I fell fowl of this when I started at my current job last year - went in during the Summer, got the OK to take down all the displays from the HOD, took it all down and completley put my stamp on it - only for the previous occupant of the room to turn up during the terms first week and want to know where her display was!
    Having just finished my NQT, I would take everyone esles advice and JUST RELAX! (As mad as that seems!)
    When I started at my school, I was in exactly the same position! I turned up on our 2nd training day in September (the day before the kids arrived) to be given my finalised timetable, class lists and opportunity to talk to my classes previous teachers! All I did was prepared the "THESE ARE MY RULES" Speech - which eventually turned into creating a Class Rules Charter as a group.
    This is all your first lessons will be - if you have KS4, you might need to plan something to introduce them to the current topic as well - but KS3 can be followed by a simple grammar/writing activity so you can see what level they are at?
    Keep it simple while you can - and GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. This is a really helpful thread, thanks everyone!
    I'm about to be an NQT and I dread reading these threads as they tend to scare me!
    I've spent three days in my classroom over the hols, as well as a few 'making resources' sessions at home. I feel better to have made the classroom my own, tidied it up etc!
    I did have a summer job but gave it up as, among other things, felt I deserved a break after a tough year! However, I have spent all week in bed with tonsilitis!! Oh well, at least its not the first week of term - gotta look on the brightside!
  18. I'm in a similar position: NQT starting this Sept. Went in for the last two weeks of term and have been in for another 2 days over the hols to go through SOW, resources and play on instruments (teaching Music). Have made a few small resources over the hols but nothing major... have begun feeling very worried about first week -I'm guessing largely because of a lack of familiarity.
    Alex1012 - I have been struck down with sickness as well! I'm knocking back lemsip and have absolutely no energy ... stress, methinks?! [​IMG]
  19. Zoki59

    Zoki59 New commenter

    I'm also a bit stressy - want to be perfect!! But as mentioned here, I don't know the classes or anything!! Start next week!! Can't wait until I'm settled, I hate being the new girl!!

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