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How to make an impact in your new school

Advice on how to hit the ground running in your new teaching role

We've put together some tips to help you make a positive impact in your new role, and how you can use these to help you in your long term career goals.

Engage with parents

It's a good idea to send home a letter introducing yourself to parents, outlining how excited you are for the opportunity to work with their children and encourage them to contact you with any concerns they may have.

If you are taking over a post mid-year, this is particularly important, as parents may have a relationship with the former teacher, so it's important that you set expectations, extend the communication lines, and make yourself available to create a positive educational experience for your class.

Get to know your class, and help them get to know you

Help break the ice with some fun activities. During the first week, your classroom management techniques should include taking the time to speak to your pupils individually to learn more about each of them and engage with them.

It's also important to help the class get to know you to help build trust and respect. You could try asking them to interview you, or playing some classroom games. By building your relationship with your class, you will be going a long way towards establishing a great learning environment.

Set a routine

If you're joining a new school, make sure you understand all the policies and procedures in place. Children thrive on a steady routine, so if you can engage with them in the way they expect, you should see less issues with the transition. Set out your classroom expectations clearly. If you have new ideas you want to introduce, engage with the class about the idea, and why you want to introduce it to build trust, and help the class feel a part of these changes.

Establish your authority

This can be especially difficult if you start a post mid year, but consistency is key from the moment you step into your classroom. Greet the class at the door on your first day, and outline your expectations clearly. Use praise to reward positive behaviour, and engage with any disruption in a constructive way- ask the pupil why they are behaving as they are. This is a great way to help engage with pupils.

Implement an effective incentives programme

Develop trust by rewarding good work and setting out classroom rules and incentives for working towards a set of shared goals. If your predecessor already had a great program set up that works, then stick with that. If not, then set up a clear incentive program like coupons, class points, or a homework pass. This can be a great bargaining chip if students are disruptive or are having a hard time adjusting to changes.

Find a mentor or friendly ear

It's a great idea to try to find someone to talk to, whether this is an official mentor or an experienced teacher who you can speak to for advice and guidance. This is so useful to find out those key bits of information you won't find in the welcome pack!

Engage with the whole school

As well as working with your class, supporting after school clubs, sports coaching or other extra curricular responsibilities is a great way to make an impact, and will help you understand the school environment and culture.

Set yourself some long term goals for success

This can be tricky, but alongside building your understanding of what is expected of you each day, keep thinking about your broader career goals and where they fit in to your progress. Refer back to your job description, ticking off what you have learnt and identifying where you can develop your skills. No one will get everything right, but as long as you are reflective of your progress, you'll be moving in the right direction.

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