New school - how to start(5 Posts)
I've been appointed to a new role in a new school from September; obviously I'm really pleased and excited.
However, I'm also a bit apprehensive - I trained in my current school and have been there 5 years. I'm not really sure how to get to grips with a new school in terms of people, routines, traditions, expectations...
What would be your top tips? It's primary, btw.
I should imagine they are all very similar!
You will bring with you other ideas you have picked up and can share!
Be open minded - ask about the policies in behaviour and time table
One school did Phonics Maths Reading and literacy in the morning leaving the afternoon for PE swimming science and art - plus time for outdoors stuff and library
Current school do maths and literacy AM plus some down time and reading and phonics/spelling in the afternoon puls science etc
Behaviour should be similar -
Get together a plan for your class and see if they are open in the summer holidays for you to pop in and get sorted
I disagree that schools are similar. In my experience (now of 5 primary schools) they just couldn't be more different.
My advice would be to try to get some time with whoever will be your line manager before the start of term to talk through all the basics (how they plan and mark, collect data, behaviour systems etc) and also to get some specific info about school issues- what is the main focus for school improvement, where do the particular class you are taking on need their focus etc. If you are taking on a management role also discuss that- any particular issues you need to know about people you will line manage etc.
If you can go in a few times during the summer holiday and get your classroom how you want it that will really help you hit the ground running (and let's face it, arranging your personal stationary is the best bit of the job ).
Then expect to be tired. I have moved around quite a bit and have a lot of experience in my particular field but the first term at any new school is always exhausting. Your mind just swims with faces and names you need to learn and everything is a bit of a blur.
Do not bitch or make any negative comment about anything to ANYBODY!! It takes a long time to learn who you can let off steam to, don't do it until you really know the lie of the land socially.
I've moved 3 times in the 9 years since qualifying and it's fine-it just takes a bit of getting used to! As a PP said-go into school in the holidays to get the lie of the land and sort your room out. Be prepared to be exhausted and overwhelmed at the beginning, but that's completely normal and doesn't mean you've made a terrible mistake also as a PP be circumspect socially when you start and get the lie of the land. A couple of times new members of staff have bitched to me on their first day about another member of staff and both times I was a bit because for all they knew the person they were bitching about could have been my best friend/sister in law/cousin. Smile a lot. Be helpful. Good luck!
Get to know the caretakers, the IT technicians, the reprographic staff, the kitchen staff.
Find out where to get stationery, books etc.
Arrange your room to how you like it.
Bring some biscuits or chocolate to the first meeting.
Don't say 'in my last school, we did this and that' unless someone specifically ask you about how you did things in your last school.
Moving 3 times in the first 4 years taught me a lot of things
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