Do your homework: starting a new role

Nina Boniface

Do your homework: starting a new role

First of all, congratulations on your new job. Searching for a new job is tough but you made it! Here’s a little list to help you know what to do before and after you start your new job.

Before you start

Positive thoughts!

Make sure you start your job with a positive headspace – a ‘can-do’ attitude and a smile is the best way to hit the ground running and make a great impression.

Do your research on the role

By this point, you’ll have a good understanding of the school and it’s culture, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you research again before you start there. Check out their website, their official social media pages, their school ethos and any relevant reading material. Not only will this make you super prepared for your new role, it’ll show that you care.

Curriculum

Ensuring you understand the current curriculum, especially if you’re an international teacher. The UK curriculum sets out the key programmes of study that you’ll need to cover throughout the year, they differ for every Key Stage, from EYFS to Primary to Secondary.

Establish your classroom rules

It’s important to have classroom rules before you begin teaching to make sure your classes run smoothly. What can your students do to get your attention? Put their hands up and wait quietly. What can students do if they finish their work early? What happens when a student starts misbehaving? Good ideas include a verbal warning, followed by writing a students name on the board. Some schools may have their own classroom rules which they might tell you about when you begin.

After you start

Make yourself known

With any new job, it’s important to make yourself known. Introduce yourself to other staff members in the staffroom or corridors. Make sure you ask for help when you need it, too. This is a good way to build rapport but also to understand the boundaries between teachers and SLT. Peer help might be a better option sometimes.

Set your classroom up

Put your own stamp on your classroom. A basic display is a good way to introduce your teaching styles to the staff and students. Create a ‘star pupil’ display to create something your students will strive to get on, or combine a visual display with classroom rules and create a reminder of break times display.

Plan

Make sure you’re aware of the school’s schedule to create a daily plan. When are the breaks and lunchtime? What is the protocol for assembly? What do you do during a fire drill? Where can you find classroom supplies? How do you go about ordering more? These are all valid questions to ask or find out during your induction.

Continue learning

Keep up to date with education updates in order to ensure your teaching remains relevant. Take advantage of CPD offerings that your school or agency might have. Professional development opens doors and enhances your career prospects.

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