Teaching Secondary RE by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter:

Sector:  Secondary
Subject: RE
Position: Teacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Teaching Secondary RE

  1. Be passionate: the pupils will feed off of that, those ‘disengaged’ pupils will lift their heads if they hear your passion.
  2. Stay calm: you are going to hear and read things that shock you in a bad way, stay calm and explain any misunderstandings with pupils patiently, it’s your job.
  3. Celebrate: you are also going to hear things that shock you in a good way, pupils will surprise you, they have a much deeper understanding than you could ever imagine.
  4. Answer ‘that’ question: your chosen subject will have you justifying your subject to pupils, parents and sometimes staff. Be ready to do it at any moment.
  5. Feel privileged: one of the few places pupils can truly share ideas and thoughts is in RE, it’s a privilege that you hear these things, it’s not always easy for them.

Starting at a New School by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter:
Sector:  Secondary
Subject:
Position: Head of Department
5 Bits of Advice About: Starting at a new school

  1. Set clear simple rules and follow them consistently. Make sure they match school procedures.
  2. Keep your lessons simple and full of hard work. Set the tone for the rest of the year.
  3. Ignore anyone, typically pastoral leaders, who try to excuse pupil behaviour. Find staff who deal with it and can support you.
  4. Find out stuff about the pupils in your care, especially difficult ones. It makes it easier to get them onside.
  5. Don’t get too stressed by homework. The only people who are all over homework are the people who don’t have to do it or set it.

Well-being by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: RQT
What is your advice about? Well-being

1: You’ll always feel you could do more. Try to get comfortable with this nagging feeling as soon as possible, because it isn’t going away.

2: Lie about your job at parties. It’s easier than listening to the sixth opinion that night on how teachers should do this or that. You get enough of that at work.

3: Find the colleagues that make you laugh. You need the ones that make you chuckle, regardless of whether they’re ‘radiators’ or ‘drains’.

4: Hydrate. Don’t think ‘well I don’t have time to pee anyway’ because you’ll get to 4pm and feel like you’re hungover, but with none of the fun.

5: Listen to Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ frequently. One’s reaction to this song is an excellent barometer for workplace well-being. If you cry, phone in sick.

Surviving Your NQT Year by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): French
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Surviving your NQT year

1: Teaching takes up a lot of free time, so make sure to keep one evening a week free and one day at the weekend.

2: Remember you are still learning. Don’t expect perfection from yourself.

3: Take advantage of the extra frees you have to observe more experienced members of staff in and out of your curriculum area.

4: Make a marking timetable and stick to it.

5: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Share and use shared resources in your department.

Knowing When To Jump Ship by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Former teacher
What is your advice about? Knowing when to jump ship

1: If you are averaging 4 hours sleep a weeknight in order to fit in work then do something about it. Your health is more important than your job.

2: It’s *not* normal to get tearful, angry or have panic attacks no matter what people say. It isn’t something ‘you should put up with’ and it also isn’t ‘part of the job’.

3: Use your support network outside the job. They will realise you are struggling and will offer a shoulder to cry on or help you get things in perspective.

4: Go to your GP and be honest – they have heard it all before. Get referred to counselling and keep a copy of paperwork if signed off.

5: You will in all probability know in your heart if it is time to leave the profession. Have an escape route, use all the support you can and realise you *will* be ok.

Memory by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Assistant Principal
What is your advice about? Memory is more important than you think

1: Just because kids appear to know and understand stuff at the end of a lesson, do not assume they will be able to remember it during the exam months or even years later.

2: Equally, do not leave revision until the end of the course. You will find you have to pretty much teach the whole thing all over again from scratch.

3: Test them almost every lesson. Test them on what they did yesterday, last week, last month, last year.

4: The tests should be quick and easy to both create and mark.  If you have time use questioning to encourage students to elaborate on their answers.

5: Memory really is like a muscle and a part of your job is to be its personal trainer.   The more your students practise remembering, the better they will get at it.

How To Spot A Poor School by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Senior teacher
What is your advice about? How to spot a poor school.

1: High turnover of staff in shortage subjects. It probably means they won’t work there or if they do they leave quickly.

2: You are blamed for using the discipline policy. The 2 behaviour policy schools are invariably bad; the written policy and the unwritten one.

3: Low ebacc score. Possibly controversial, but although not suitable for many anything below 50% is poor.

4: Publicity doesn’t match the results. If the schools tells/convinces everyone they’re great but the results aren’t… Avoid like the plague.

5: Parents go out of their way to not send pupils there. So low property prices in catchment area.