This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Teachers? Any words of wisdom?(11 Posts)
I have just finished my history degree at uni I am starting secondary teacher training in September via the school direct programme which means I'll be more involved in the school and its kind of a learn on the job style of learning.
I was just wondering if any teachers had any words of wisdom or advice for me? It can be about anything I'm just feeling a little apprehensive (but excited) about it and would love to know people's experiences or lessons they've learnt along the way?
Observe as many good experienced teachers as you can. Be consistent, if you're mostly consistent, you're not consistent. Greet pupils at the door and always have something for them to do once they sit down (even if it's just copying something, they need a settling activity). Ask for support if you need it. Ask if you don't understand something. Be prepared to work bloody hard.
Actually if you've finished your degree course and are at a loose end, I would see if you can do some observations now. Focus on how the teacher interacts with the pupils. How do they keep them on task and focused? How do they organise the lesson and the room? How do they help the pupils learn to the best of their abilities? How do they assess how much the students have taken from the lesson?
@JohnWolfenstein I've done some school experience and observed the teachers at the school I will be in and I have some more organised but these are great questions to consider when I observe thankyou!
Thought I'd something else....
Be open to advice and constructive criticism. My trainees who do well are those who follow up on advice and try out suggestions. Some things might work, some things might not, but it's usually worth a try. The ones who think they know it all already are the ones who find themselves in trouble.
You can also follow lots of different teacher groups on twitter. I can't do Twitter, but my (younger!) colleagues use it all the time for ideas and inspiration.
Aim to be supremely organised! I rarely take work home in the evenings and hardly ever work at the weekend.
Observe other teachers as often as you can.
Always change a lesson if things aren't going well. This is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you're adapting to the needs of the children.
Enjoy the training! It's very hard work, very tiring, but you get out what you put in.
Expect to work harder than you ever imagined possible. It will get easier, but your first year will be extremely hard... everything takes longer when it's new....marking, planning, preparation etc.
Be organised. Get a folder with those plastic wallets built in- you will be handed hundreds of slips of paper in the first few days and you will need them all! Logins for various systems, list of pupil premium kids, key dates (different versions from your department/year group/house).
Look at exercise books from your new department... reading the marking policy is great but it's useful to see what they think good marking looks like in reality.
Find out what topics you are teaching and start swatting up on your subject knowledge...no matter how much you think you know, there's always something new.
Network through social media...there are some cracking groups on Facebook to join, have a search for your subject/area/keystage.
When it comes to behaviour management, remember you catch more flies with honey! "Will you tuck your shirt in for me?" with a cheery smile and enthusiastic thanks is much more likely to get compliance than, "sort that uniform out now!". That said, be firm. Follow up on everything. Follow the school's behaviour policy to the letter, while being smiley and nice. That way kids know they won't get away with anything, but you'll build good relationships because they'll see that you're nice.
Sorry if that's rambly. I'll see what else I can think of.
Find out the schemes of learning for the school and do some reading around the topics now, while you have time. Ask to borrow textbooks if they have them. Get on Twitter and follow history teachers.
Buy a bunch of stationery, a decent printer and laptop if you don’t have them, and a school bag.
Spend the summer seeing family and friends and travelling, because you won’t have much time for it next year.
Respect the teachers you are working with. They may not do it the way you would and they may not get it right every time but they have more experience than you and they’ve seen plenty of trainees come and go. Learn from them.
Thankyou for all of the advice, I will definitely take it on board! Particularly the behavioural advice @Wellmet I think that is going to be what I struggle with the most, thankyou.
Definitely agree with the Facebook groups. I've been teaching 25 years; this year started a new key stage, so joined the FB group for this. It's not so much the content any more, it's the special occasions, one-offs, looking at how others manage that has been most useful.
Will you be in a school teaching the National Curriculum? If so, make sure you read up on it for your key stages. Do you know which exam board(s) (presuming secondary now) you will be using? Again, the FB groups are brilliant for that.
I haven't been on it for ages, but the TES has some forums that are subject specific as well as those for job-hunting, NQT etc. There are also lots of resources on there, some of which are free. I occasionally use them as a starting point and adapt them to my own needs.
Please login first.