Bright Teachers

Teaching, educationand education aides blog

How to make an impression as a new head teacher

As a head teacher coming in to a new school, you may worry about the first impressions you make. You cannot go back and redo first impressions so it is vital that you get it right from the get go. The first term is your time to make your mark and you need to think carefully about what, if any changes you want to make. If you have been bought in to a school to turn it around (following a poor Ofsted report for example) then you may need to come in quite hard and fast making a number of big chances very quickly. You will need to be prepared that this may ruffle some feathers and you will often get the impression that you are not well liked but you need to keep in mind the main focus of the situation.
If the school is currently doing well then it may not be wise to come in heavy handed and make a large number of changes. Instead you may want to evaluate the situation first before deciding what you want to do. Take time to get to know the staff, the children and also their parents as ultimately it will be their support that you need in the future.

Help for teachers with pupil behaviour

Behaviour in the classroom can have a massive effect on education. Bad behaviour can not only disrupt the education of the child who is not behaving but also of the rest of the class. If as a teacher you are finding that behaviour issues are coming up time and time again then you need to act quickly to avoid further disruption and to get the class back under control.

One idea which has been tried and tested at a number of schools is the traffic light system. This allows all the children to start the day or week on a green card. If they behave well then they will remain on green, if they misbehave then they will often be given an orange or amber card. If this behaviour is repeated again they may find themselves on a red card. The good thing about this method is that it is visual and not only to the child who’s behaviour is not acceptable but to the rest of the class.

It is often suggested that rather than singling one or two pupils out to put on a reward system, it is better to do it for the whole case so that all the pupils know that the teacher has the same expectations for everyone. This means that no child should feel singled out and that they understand everyone has to abide by the same terms.

Teachers responsibility for pupils well-being

As a teacher you will notice that home life can have a massive effect on a child’s ability at school. It may be that they are very quiet, have little confidence or that they misbehave. These things can happen throughout their school life or may only start happening after a recent event. It is important that teachers and parents or carers work together to ensure that the child feels safe and knows who they can talk to should they have any concerns. As a teacher you have a responsibility for the child when they are in your care, but if you worry about things at home which you feel are having an impact on their well-being or education then it is important that you speak up. Sometimes it may just be a quick word with the parents (if for example the child is getting too little sleep and therefore cannot concentrate in lessons) or other times you may need to pass the information on to the head teacher.
When teaching you may need to spend more time with some pupils than others who may require additional help. It could be that they have a learning difficulty which needs diagnosing or that they need to do more work at home to help aid their learning. Children learn at different rates so what may be normal for one child may not for another.

What makes a good reception teacher?

A reception teacher has a very important job. You may be teaching a mix of children who have never been in any sort of learning environment outside the home and some children who have been in nursery full time for some years. You will need to be able to introduce children to school life and explain and ensure they understand all about behaviour and what is expected of them in school.

Often children can get quite upset in reception as it may be the first time they are away from their parents for a long period of time or even if they are used to being at nursery, the change may shake them up a little. You need to be able to comfort the children to settle them into the school day quickly and start to teach. There may be a very mixed range of abilities of the children that start in reception, so often you will have to tailor the work to suit all of them. To start with you will need to get to know each child and find out what they are capable of. You then may start to split them into smaller group when it comes to reading etc. to ensure every pupil gets the help and support they need.

Tips for covering another class

As a teacher you may be required to cover another class from time to time. This may be due to illness or a course. Pupils often like to try and push their luck with a new teacher and will often act up to see how far they can push the boundaries. It is important to teach your new class how you would your own. Be sure to set the rules as soon as you go in and don’t stand for any messing. Always have worksheets at the ready, you may have to cover a class that has now work left for them but even if they have, you can keep your worksheets on standby should some pupils finish early.

The important thing when covering a class is not to panic and show that you are unsure of what you should be doing. If you are covering in a new school then make sure you arrive in plenty of time and find out exactly when assemblies and break times are etc.

If you have a TA working in the classroom with you then they will probably have a good idea of what should be going on and will be able to give you the heads up on any pupils that are normally disruptive that you may have to keep an eye on.