The New Teacher Lowdown
Congratulations, you've done it. Your hard work has paid off and you're all set for your new career adventure! It's not surprising that the nerves are setting in and your finding yourself a little quiet on the first few days, it happens to the best of us, after all, you are the 'newbie'. In times like these it's sometimes difficult to remember the important bits of starting out, how to make your mark and a good lasting impression. With your feet firmly on the ground and a pencil-case full to the brim of classroom goodies, there's little that can stop you, so for those in need of a little reminder, here's the things that every new teacher should know...
1. The Staffroom could be your best friend or your worst enemy. Don't avoid it and segregate yourself, amongst the copious amounts of Hobnobs, milky tea and other goodies are a heap of friendly faces that will make you feel welcome.
2. Be yourself. Not just to fellow colleagues but to your pupils too. Children have that super power of being able to see right through you, so introduce them to the person you are from the very start.
3. GO HOME. Yes you signed up for long hours and copious amounts of marking but staying behind until 9pm will not make you a better teacher, rest is key.
4. You are a creative cookie. Take risks and push the boat out. You entered this profession because you're good at it, remember that.
5. Don't take what your kids say personally. You've just told them they can't sit next to their best friend, it's literally the end of their world right now.
6. Eat a proper lunch. Running around will needs lots of energy, don't let yourself burn out. Pack plenty of goodness and fill yourself with fuel for the big days ahead.
7. You will need help, ask for it. Don't shy away from holding your hands up and seeking advice, these are the actions that will help you grow into an even better teacher.
8. Every child loves treats, old or young. Remember to reward your class for fantastic efforts (plus save some for yourself, you deserve the cake)
9. Communication is 80% non-verbal - so shoulders back, stand tall and make plenty of eye contact. You run the show.
10. Whilst concentrating on standing tall... SMILE. It's essential.
11. In times of desperation, remember 'Christmas, Easter, Summer'. It gets even the tiredest of teachers through.
12. Everyone has a bad week, don't put yourself down or dwell, move forward and accept new challenges.
13. The 'no phones in the classroom' rule has probably already been broken, keep a keen eye out for Facebook fiends, they're everywhere.
14. Your pencil-case will get raided. It's inevitable. (Hide the smelly gel pens, they always go first.)
15. Remember to set rules and keep them. They will get tested, it's up to you to drum them in.
16. Preparation is key. Prepare, prepare some more and then prepare to be prepared for more preparing.
17. Connect with your students. Remain absent from the 'friend or foe' categories but make sure your students feel comfortable enough to confide in you.
18. Involve the parents. The biggest influence in a child's life is the people who raise them, introduce yourself and keep regular contact, chances are if mum respects you, their child will too.
19. Keep in contact with old teacher, course and work placement friends, in times of need these are great people to turn to for support and encouragement, plus you can swap ideas.
20. Enjoy it, this time next year you'll feel settled and as if you've always been here. Time flies when you're having fun (or marking 100 test papers) so value every moment, it's not just the children learning something new every day.