Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself by @JessicaDPollock

Name: Jessica Pollock
Twitter name: @JessicaDPollock
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Class Teacher
What is your advice about? Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

  1. Your class will get messy.
  2. You will fall behind on marking at times.
  3. You will forget to organise resources for a lesson and have to wing it.
  4. You will realise you’ve only done spelling once this week and wouldn’t like to admit to the last time you taught French.
  5. You’re in a job with a never ending to-do list so keep a ‘done list’ to keep perspective. This job is like a garden, never perfect or ‘finished’ but manageable, and worth it.

Working With Science Technicians by @emc2andallthat

Name: Gethyn Jones
Twitter name: @emc2andallthat
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Physics
Position: Head of Physics
What is your advice about? Working With Science Technicians

  1. Science techs often have an eclectic mix of backgrounds. Some will have more experience and knowledge than you — get to know them!
  2. Submit your lab reqs on time in the appropriate format. Although a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance, your effort is appreciated.
  3. Make sure it’s a two way conversation: lab techs may need to clarify or amend your reqs — or act as gotbetweens when there are equipment clashes. Be flexible!
  4. Set up a book of “Standard Pracs” that other staff can use. It can be a great timesaver!
  5. Count things out — and count them back again!

Who to be nice to… by @MikeTylerSport

Name: Mike Tyler
Twitter name: @MikeTylerSport
Sector: FE
Subject taught (if applicable): Sport
Position: Lecturer
What is your advice about? Who to be nice to…

  1. The estates team have two response times: ‘I’ll do it now’ or ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. Be nice to them if you want stuff fixed (you might even get a go on the walkie-talkies).
  2. The security staff. Next time Jack, or Jake, or Jessica kicks off you’re going to need the burly fella on your team.
  3. The timetabling team are sat at their desks like Chloe from 24, fingers poised. If you want a last minute room booking then you need someone on the inside.
  4. Your computer/projector/camera is going to break: it’s what they do. If you need it sorted at short notice, you’ll need to be on good terms with the AV and IT technician(s).
  5. Be friendly with student services staff. These people are the advice and guidance gurus; they have the answers to all of your students’ questions. All of them. Really.

Dealing with mentors by @thefish64

Name: Fish64
Twitter name: @thefish64
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Head of department
What is your advice about? Dealing with mentors

  1. Mentors vary – but they usually like to talk. Listen to them and you will get useful advice, but don’t necessarily always take everything they say as gospel
  2. Mentors, like you, will be incredibly busy. They should make time for you, but be aware that unexpected events/SLT demands can lead to meetings being rescheduled
  3. I remember seeing my mentor teach and thinking “I could have done it better”. Probably so could your mentor, had it not been for all their other commitments.
  4. A good mentor will welcome your ideas, but will also warn you of possible pitfalls. Their advice on timing is likely to be spot on
  5. Remember, mentors want you to do well – it is as much in their interest as yours that you are successful

Teaching Assistants by @SEND_teaching

Name: Diane Propsting
Twitter name:@SEND_teaching
Sector: Special school
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Teaching Assistants

  1. Spend time building relationships with your teaching assistants. This means getting to know them to find areas of common interest, create trust and lots of communication.
  2. Trust your teaching assistants, particularly if you work with a HLTA or TA3. You need to trust their judgement especially when it comes to evidence collection.
  3. Try to encourage and welcome feedback from your teaching assistants. You may need to delegate a good idea so try not to get precious about it.
  4. Find out what motivates your teaching assistants and use it. They need support and development too.
  5. Encourage your teaching assistants to be proactive and work with them to experiment in the classroom.

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?

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.