Communicating with parents by @McGillycuddy101

Name: Kathleen McGillycuddy
Twitter name: @McGillycuddy101
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Assistant Headteacher
What is your advice about? Communicating with parents

  1. Talk to parents – most parents respond well to communications and just want their child to do well. Don’t be afraid!
  2. Show you are concerned about their child and really want them to be happy/progress – don’t nag the parent or tell them off even if you are feeling frustrated.
  3. Stick to your promises – if you have said you will call them, send work home or talk to someone then do it. You may have 100s of students but they only have their child.
  4. Don’t be drawn into any arguments – if a parent is really unhappy refer them to your team leader or SLT.
  5. You are the ambassador of your school for that parent – they listen to everything you say and take it seriously. Before any communication plan what you will say.

Working effectively with Teaching Assistants by @stecks1992

Name: Chloe Stecko
Twitter name: @stecks1992
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Teaching Assistant
What is your advice about? Working effectively with Teaching Assistants

  1. Be proactive. You are responsible for your students’ progress. Direct your TA to assist with the progress of learning.
  2. Have frequent conversations with TA’s about the students they work with and their progression. Learners need to change over time.
  3. Work out strategies to best support SEND students – seating plans, behaviour. Consult your TA with this.
  4. Often, students will say ‘you’re only a teaching assistant you can’t do that.’ Back up your TA, they will back you up and want to help more.
  5. Be prepared if a TA isn’t in your lesson, there are sometimes last minute changes to be made and no one to cover. How can you support your SEND students if a TA isn’t there?

The great NQT job hunt by @JenJayneWilson

Name: Jennifer Wilson
Twitter name: @JenJayneWilson
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: English teacher, middle leader and SCITT mentor
What is your advice about? The great NQT job hunt

  1. Don’t compare yourself to other people. People will get jobs at different times and it really doesn’t matter.
  2. Do your research (e.g. prospectus, Ofsted reports etc) and tailor your application to reflect your research.
  3. The school are looking for the ‘best fit’ for their gap so don’t try to be somebody you’re not in a desperate attempt to impress.
  4. In your application focus on what you can offer the school, not what the school can offer you.
  5. Stay true to who you are as a teacher. There’ll be a school where you are the best fit and that’s the place that will give you the best development in your NQT year.

Managing Students by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name: @amuseED
Subject taught (if applicable): Art + RE
What is your advice about? Managing Students

  1. Know the expectations at your site & work with these. Consistency across the school makes student management easier for everyone (including the students).
  2. Everything you have heard about building relationships with students is true. This takes time but is an excellent investment of your effort.
  3. Relationships must be focused on student wellbeing & achievement, & should be genuine & professional. A mature approach from you sets the standard.
  4. Be fair, do not discriminate, give in to preconceived knowledge of students or make snap decisions. Think through management issues carefully & ask for advice if needed.
  5. Be confident and ensure students are aware of your standards by modelling these yourself. Your respectful handling of them will pay dividends.

Modelling Paragraphs by @pedagogymatters

Name: Daniel Opoku
Twitter name: @pedagogymatters
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Lead Practitioner
What is your advice about? Modelling Paragraphs

  1. Ensure students engage with models, as opposed to just reading them. Encourage students to annotate them.
  2. Don’t always give students a success criteria to annotate from. Allow them to use their annotations to create a success criteria.
  3. Give students a model that is not exactly the same task as the one that you want them to complete.
  4. Use multiple models to highlight specific skills, showing students good models, but also perhaps a bad ones. This further highlights what ‘good’ looks like.
  5. Challenge students to offer a WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) on models to unpick then further.

Surviving the Staffroom by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name: @amuseED
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Visual Arts + RE
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Surviving the Staffroom

  1. Use the staffroom during your breaks. It is the first place where you will begin to gain an understanding of your schools culture.
  2. Sit in a different place each time you use the staffroom for the first few weeks. This is an excellent way to get to know other staff who are all part of your new team.
  3. If you are made to feel unwelcome by any ‘group’ in the staffroom, persevere with them. Choose to sit with them at least three times before deciding to leave them alone.
  4. You will find your preferred group. While that’s fabulous, at least once a week sit with a different group & also try sitting by yourself (see who comes to you).
  5. Use the staffroom for a real break. While it’s fine to engage in professional conversations, it’s also a chance to get to know others on a more personal level.

Managing Workload by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name:@amuseED
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Visual Arts + RE
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Managing Workload

  1. Plan your time carefully so that you make allowances for all of your responsibilities. This includes time for rest, exercise and connecting with friends & family.
  2. Aim to begin your day early and finish later than student dismissal. Mornings are good for checking emails, afternoons for marking & preparation.
  3. You will need to make personal time available for work. Build this time into your weekends but don’t allow this to interfere with social events, rest or exercise.
  4. Use some of your holidays for work but be flexible & use times when the weather is unsuitable to go out or you have no plans. Never say ‘no’ to an invitation because of work.
  5. Set up a permanent workspace at home that is seperate from your living areas. Drift in & out of this space as determined by your mood & work demands.