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The first hurdle is cleared

They say that the first term in teaching is as bad as its gets and this one is now finally at the end.

The stresses of starting out in a new job, coupled with dark evenings and cold weather, can make things seem worse than they really are. But take heart - you've survived !

In our final issue of 2005, new teacher Kate Sprankling offers some reassuring words about observation (above) for young teachers worried about going through that important process.

Joe Clancy looks at the perils of administering medication to children in schools in our feature (pages 10 and 11), while James Heartfield examines Buddhism in our regular look at religions and culture (page 6).

As ever, there is the usual feast of advice and information from our experts to help you in your job.

Meanwhile, Sue Cowley (page 8) gives you tips on how to establish good relationships with a new form group of pupils who had become used to having the same teacher for the previous three years.

Have a restful Christmas and a fulfilling 2006.

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