Back to School - New School Tips

9:22 AM

When it comes to back to school time I always feel a heady mix of emotions. From excited to terrified I cycle through these emotions daily until that first day of term hits. I have already met my class so I vaguely know what to expect. I have come up with a seating plan that is strategically done so I can remember everybody’s names!
However it is my first time teaching in a new school since I first qualified. It feels like my first day EVER! For anyone else in this position I have picked the brains of several fellow teachers and compiled a list of their tips for making sure you are as prepared as you can be!

Know the layout of the school
As simple as this may sound, there is no doubt you will need to find certain things or direct students to certain places. Knowing where the nearest toilets to your classroom are, directions to the nurse’s office, library etc. will stand you in good stead for surprise questions.

Know your classroom
From glue sticks to scissors, bulletin boards to fire alarms – familiarise yourself with every aspect of your room. It will not only give you the ability to find things quickly, it will make you feel more at home. Personalise your bulletin boards with posters, notices, etc. that will help both liven up your classroom and provide information on what is to be covered this term.
Plan your first day to the minute
If you need photocopying done don’t leave it to the last minute. Have all your activities for the first day ready to go and have extras for those early finishers.

Get to know other staff members
If anyone knows the tips and tricks to being successful in your new school it’s the teachers and office staff that already work there! They know the best times to get photocopying done, who to go to if you have an issue, who to contact if you are unwell, etc.

Know the policies
Read through all the paperwork you were given before you start. Know the procedure for everything from your sick days to pupil sick days, fire drills to discipline protocols. You cannot know too much! If you need anything clarifying – just ask! Its better to get it out of the way early.

Be early!
Make sure you have the time to get settled and shake off those first day nerves before the students arrive. If you are still unsure of anything – there will usually be a few other early birds around that you can ask any questions you have. You can also use this time to set your tables how you want them, find any materials you need and have that all important cup of coffee (or three!).

Start as you mean to go on
Greet each student as they filter into the room and build those teacher-student rapports early. Don’t point out your nervousness – just laugh, smile and try and make everyone feel at ease. It will rub off on you! Start with introductions, rules and procedures. The quicker that is out of the way the sooner you can start teaching which will put everyone at ease and let everyone settle. Teaching on the first day helps get everyone (yourself included!) into the mindset that your classroom is ready to go!

Buy cold and flu medicines in advance!
For you first term – you are likely to get sick. Everyone brings all their germs to the same place and the stress of a new job all mount up to weaken your immune system! Have those medicines ready to go so you can start fighting the illness from the off!

I’m going to conclude this by wishing everyone luck, whether you are starting at a new school, teaching a new year group or you are in the same position you were last year – we all know those back to school nerves! Embrace them! They just show how much you care about your job and your students!

by ZippadeeZazz

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