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Starting a new job tomorrow . HELP !!!!!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by MademoiselleP, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. MademoiselleP

    MademoiselleP New commenter

    Hi hoping to get some well-needed reassurance here ... [​IMG] I've had an interview Friday before half-term and was offered the job of Spanish/French teacher in a secondary school . The job is a maternity cover up to the end of the Summer term. I am starting tomorrow My biggest worry is how to assert myself with the classes I am going to take from the teacher leaving for her maternity leave. I imagine I will spend the first week "breaking the ice" and if you have any tips on how to help me do this , it 'd be more than welcome. I don't want them to see me too much as a "cover "teacher because they might not take me seriously enough and make my life harder than necessary . Also I do not know how many classes I will have , their levels , where they are in the curriculum , if I 'll be a form tutor ( I really hope not) , the list is endless . I don't think the school can expect me to be fully operational after 2 days on these terms . I reckon they will give me a bit of time to get my head around things and to organise myself but then again they might let me work things out by myself which would be a massive challenge as I know absolutely nothing of the school / kids and how the system works . I am not even mentioning the approaching GCSE period ..... Any ideas you have , from experience or inspiration , will be hugely appreciated !!!!
     
  2. MademoiselleP

    MademoiselleP New commenter

    Hi hoping to get some well-needed reassurance here ... [​IMG] I've had an interview Friday before half-term and was offered the job of Spanish/French teacher in a secondary school . The job is a maternity cover up to the end of the Summer term. I am starting tomorrow My biggest worry is how to assert myself with the classes I am going to take from the teacher leaving for her maternity leave. I imagine I will spend the first week "breaking the ice" and if you have any tips on how to help me do this , it 'd be more than welcome. I don't want them to see me too much as a "cover "teacher because they might not take me seriously enough and make my life harder than necessary . Also I do not know how many classes I will have , their levels , where they are in the curriculum , if I 'll be a form tutor ( I really hope not) , the list is endless . I don't think the school can expect me to be fully operational after 2 days on these terms . I reckon they will give me a bit of time to get my head around things and to organise myself but then again they might let me work things out by myself which would be a massive challenge as I know absolutely nothing of the school / kids and how the system works . I am not even mentioning the approaching GCSE period ..... Any ideas you have , from experience or inspiration , will be hugely appreciated !!!!
     
  3. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    My understanding is that you normally get to shadow the teacher for a few days, this has been the case in all the maternities I can remember. However, from the speed of your appointment, it may be an unusual situation.
    If it helps, try to remember that it's not in the school's interests to have you turn up, then run out the door within 30 minutes. With this in mind I would doubt that they'll put you in front of the nutty classes on day 1. If the HOD is worth their salt, (and Languages HODs tend to be pretty good at hard work), they'll have re-positioned the more interesting characters into more established teacher's classes.
    Being a form tutor is the best bit of the job, it's brilliant seeing the same kids for 10 mins at the start of every day and spending time with them with no pressure, just enjoying spending time with the young people.
    Levels etc will come to you, schools now have sheets and sheets of data, but if you enjoy the children and the subject, that's the most important bit, levels/results come after and out of that.
    All that you need to worry about is enjoying the children and the subject, don't try to be god's gift, or worry about suddenly increasing results etc. Find out the school's discipline/rewards procedures and stick to them rigidly, ask for support, there will be lots of it,(see para 2)
    You won't sleep well tonight, this is an acknowledged Teacher's condition at the start of a new year. I know someone who works in sleep research, and their advice is to give yourself 20 mins of tossing and turning then go and have a cup of tea/ read for 30 mins then go back to sleep, (it works for me anyway).

    Good luck, but the best advice is to just enjoy the children!

    Ian
     
  4. Don't bother spending a week "breaking the ice"! Just get stuck straight in with exam prep or whatever they're doing so they know you mean business and take you seriously.
     
  5. I agree. Be firm but fair. It is near impossible to get back control if you are too 'soft' to start.
     
  6. MademoiselleP

    MademoiselleP New commenter

    Thanks for your reply.
    I am indeed shadowing a bit ( 2 lessons so far) . I taught 1 lesson this morning and will teach another one this afternoon. I have met the teacher going on maternity leave and she has been helpful explaining what she has done with her classes etc....She told me something which made my "alarm" button ring quite loud about a Y8 class where she said I should not bother teaching them and instead giving them some dead-easy worksheets to complete during the lesson. She also mentioned 3 boys had been removed from her class and did not know what to do about them ... I am not keen to have them back just now :) Apart from that , the kids look like regular kids to me but I understand some classes are quite "difficult" . I am hoping for the best and trying to organise ,myself so that I know the discipline system by heart when time comes to use it !
     

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