Teacher Survival Kit by @Gwenelope

Name: Gwen Nelson
Twitter:  @Gwenelope
Sector:  FE
Subject: English
Position: Lecturer A-Level and GCSE English courses
5 Bits of Advice About: Teacher survival kit

  1. Thermos camping mug with lid: so that you can carry your caffeine elixir around with ease AND the lid prevents spillage onto work clothes.
  2. Supplies of your caffeine elixir of choice: coffee, tea or (an unspecified brand of) cola. Non-caffeine options are available.
  3. A bottle of water: You will get dehydrated, especially in summer. Squirrel away some water in the office fridge, drink it.
  4. Medicine: Lemsip, throat sweets, paracetamol, ibuprofen. Try not to take them all at once – if you feel that bad, you shouldn’t be at work.
  5. Emergency chocolate: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a teacher, in possession of THAT Year 9 class, must be in want of some chocolate.

Teaching A-Levels for the First Time by @Gwenelope

Name: Gwen Nelson
Twitter name: @Gwenelope
Sector: FE
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Lecturer for A-Level and GCSE English courses
What is your advice about? Teaching A-Levels for the first time

1: The first thing to own up to is that teaching an A-Level for the first time is scary. You have more to teach, in greater depth to brighter kids.

2: You absolutely must know your specification intimately, because examiners and moderators have a keen eye for rubric infractions.

3: First time round, ask for a section of the course, that you are already confident about. Ask for support with planning your section of the course.

4: Seek advice, resources and sample SoW and lessons from your more experienced colleagues. Planning for A-Level takes far longer than KS3 or 4; you’ll need the help, take it.

5: Teach to the sheep grades (thanks @kevbartle for this) B, A, A*, the students at the lower ability end will rise to the challenge if you let them.

Setting Cover Work by @Gwenelope

Name: Gwen Nelson
Twitter name: @Gwenelope
Sector: FE
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Leccturer for A-Level English courses
What is your advice about? Setting cover work

1: Be mindful that whoever covers your classes is unlikely to be a subject specialist; meaning they will not be able to ‘teach’ them like you would.

2: Never set anything ‘new’ in a cover lesson. The class will be bamboozled, the cover teacher foxed and chaos will reign.

3: For both KS3 and 4 classes, set some form of revision activity based on your most recent teaching (within the last week), using knowledge or skills they already have.

4: Email the work to at least 2 people, remember to attach documents and write very clear, step by step  instructions for each teaching group.

5: Assuming you have seating plans, have them readily available in your room, or email them with the cover work, thus giving the cover person a fighting chance with your class.