Visiting a school for a day’s supply by Stephen Reginald

Name: Stephen Reginald
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Supply teacher
What is your advice about? Visiting a school for a day’s supply

  1. Be nice to your TA if you’re lucky enough to get one. You should do this out of common decency but also because the SLT will ask her whether they should book you again.
  2. Bring a green pen with you. For some reason, lots of schools like marking to be done in green.
  3. Politely decline any attempts by kids to ‘high five’ you. You’re their teacher, not one of their mates.
  4. Have resources for a couple of lessons in case there’s no planning. Ensure these lessons require no marking.
  5. Don’t try to follow the excessively detailed marking policies that some schools have. Some ticks, a positive comment and the word ‘supply’ next to it should suffice.

Getting your first job by @emmakennedy123

Name: Emma Kennedy
Twitter name: @emmakennedy123
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher in charge of Literacy
What is your advice about? Getting your first job

  1. Join an NQT pool for an area you would like to teach in.
  2. Since you only need to do one application form, invest time in writing your statement and get a second opinion from an experienced teacher.
  3. Be aware that a good application will receive many responses and schools will be keen to interview you so you can be selective about which you choose to attend.
  4. Don’t worry if you don’t get the first one. There will be PLENTY more opportunities.
  5. Get your application in early so you can be even more picky and selective about where you work.

High Expectations For All by @xjuliesmithx

Name: Julie Smith
Twitter name: xjuliesmithx
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Lead Practitioner
What is your advice about? High Expectations For All

  1. Set mastery goals based on regular, formative evaluation. Providing students with clear, specific feedback about their goals can aid progress.
  2. Feedback needs to be purposeful, meaningful and compatible with prior knowledge. Stress the importance of allowing learning from mistakes.
  3. Positive teacher-student relationships are key. Students who feel supported by their teachers are less likely to become alienated and disengaged from their work.
  4. Consider grouping students in your class according to present, rather than prior attainment. This can avoid notions of fixed ability.
  5. Groupings should also be flexible to maximise benefits to learning.

Preparing Juniors for their Senior Studies by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name: @amuseED
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Art + RE
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Preparing Juniors for their Senior Studies

  1. NQTs often begin their careers in the middle school. Ensure you are aware of the requirements & capabilities expected of students in the senior years of your subject.
  2. Deliberately plan your lessons & units of work to build your students skills & knowledge in the junior years so they are prepared for the demands of senior courses.
  3. Investigate & adopt some of the same pedagogies used by teachers of the senior classes. Build a relationship with these teachers so you can learn from them.
  4. Tell your students the work they do is paving the way for successful completion of secondary schooling. It’s a useful motivator. Expect them to be responsible learners.
  5. The above advice is obvious but it is important your students understand they are on a learning journey. You have the opportunity to positively impact their future performance

Credibility in the Classroom by @amuseED

Name: Allison Fairey
Twitter name: @amuseED
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Art + RE
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Credibility in the Classroom

  1. Be confident. This comes easily with experience, but being super organised helps. Always have a number of contingency plans ready to employ if a lesson goes off the rails.
  2. Be cool. Never let unexpected surprises or setbacks affect you. Aim for calmness at all times & show this in the way you use your voice & your body language.
  3. Know your subject/s well & extend your knowledge into related areas. Making multiple connections will send the message that what you teach is worth learning.
  4. Observe your students as they work. Don’t be distracted while they are learning. You will learn a great deal about them & they will know you prioritise them above all else.
  5. Respect your students & never cause them to doubt your sincerity. Listen to them & give them authentic & varied opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Engaging students in physics by @laurenemily06

Name: Lauren Stephenson
Twitter name: @laurenemily06
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Science, physics specialist
Position: Classroom teacher
What is your advice about? Engaging students in physics

  1. Be enthusiastic. If they can’t see that YOU love your subject why would they?
  2. Go beyond the scheme, link to higher level interesting science topics.
  3. Do as many hands on activities as possible. From making an electromagnet to simulating a telescope, it’ll get them hooked!
  4. Try to incorporate the idea of scientific procedure, how discoveries are made and believed. Students will gain a broader understand of the scientific community.
  5. Practice makes perfect. Whether it’s learning equations, doing arithamitic, learning laws, repettitive, fun games with an element of competition ALWAYS go down well!

Five Common Wrongs for English Teachers to Avoid by @JamesTheo

Name: James Theobald
Twitter name: @JamesTheo
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Five Common Wrongs for English Teachers to Avoid

  1. Teaching pupils that a comma is used to mark a pause or to take a breath. Hearing, this, is, enough, to, make, me, hyperventilate.
  2. Using the word ‘connective’ to describe a part of speech. It’s a made-up term used to lump words together into arbitrary groups.
  3. Using the phrase ‘wow word’ to mean ‘sophisticated language’. Unless, of course, you are trying to teach the concept of irony.
  4. Teaching that simple and complex sentences are about length. A well-written simple sentence can often be a long, lingering, meandering piece of carefully crafted epic beauty.
  5. Doing something else when there’s an opportunity to read. If you are studying Shakespeare, the best thing pupils can do is to read some Shakespeare.

Music for School Shows by Dan Guerrard

Name: Dan Guerrard
Sector: Early Years,Primary
Subject taught (if applicable): Music
Position: Primary Music Teacher
What is your advice about? Music for School Shows

  1. Organise all the music 3-6 months in advance.
  2. Do not rehearse the singing in the hall until all songs are learned off by heart
  3. Make sure everybody sings all the songs if they are in public view – don’t just have one class at a time
  4. If you are using recorded music do not just download it from YouTube – this loses a lot of sound quality
  5. Think in terms of the audience – if Johnny’s parent is sitting here what is she going to see/hear Johnny do?

Planning history lessons by @danpo_

Name: Daniel Pearson
Twitter name: @danpo_
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): History and Government & Politics
Position: Classroom teacher
What is your advice about? Planning history lessons.

  1. Work out where you want pupils to be at the end of a topic/unit of work, then work backwards from there.
  2. Don’t focus on individual activities for individual lessons but rather on everything they’ll need to get them where you want by the end of the topic/unit.
  3. This will allow differentiation by progress rather than by resource, and will save you lots of time and energy.
  4. Building lesson time for pupils to draft and redraft written work is perfectly legitimate and will save you time and energy. It will also make them better at writing.
  5. Don’t teach anything, ask them to read anything or use any resource that you haven’t fully gone through yourself.

Governance by @5N_Afzal

Name: Naureen Khalid
Twitter name: @5N_Afzal
Sector: Primary, Secondary
Position: Governor
What is your advice about? Governance

  1. Think about joining the GB as a staff governor.
  2. If you decide to go for it remember you are not the teachers’ representative.
  3. During meetings try and sit near other governors rather than the head or other staff governors.
  4. If you feel you cannot speak up in front of your head try and sit out of his/her line of vision.
  5. If you aren’t interested in joining the board, do try and read minutes of meetings which will give you an insight to what the GB does.