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Getting your induction right: The Checklist

Choosing a school for the induction year l Look at "objective" measures such as national test results and Ofsted reports.

* Visit when the children are being taught to get a fair picture.

* How do the children behave?

* Do staff seem to be enjoying their work?

* Talk to new teachers to get a feel for what the place is really like.

* Do you feel comfortable with the teaching styles in the school?

* Does it seem well organised?

* What are the whole school systems for planning and assessment?

* Is the headteacher likeable and impressive?

* Does the school understand its responsibilities for the induction of new teachers?

* How does it plan to organise the 10 per cent reduction in timetable?

* What class(es) will you be teaching and in which room?

* What are the children you will be teaching like?

* What support for special needs is there?

When being observed: make sure you know when you are going to be observed, for how long, by whom and with what focus * Agree a time and place for feedback.

* Plan with even greater care than usual.

* Give the observer a copy of your plan in advance, so that he or she is clear why you are doing certain things.

* Think through every stage of te lesson to pre-empt problems.

* If you have had targets set already, try to demonstrate that you are meeting them.

* Do everything you can to feel confident (wear clothes that make you feel the part).

* After the lesson, evaluate it yourself.

Receiving feedback l Before the feedback, reflect on the lesson yourself in terms of the progress pupils made. What were you pleased with? What could have gone better?

* Listen well. Don't just hear what you want or expect to hear.

* Focus on what is being said rather than how it is being said.

* Focus on feedback as information rather than criticism. Explain reasons for doing something that might not have been clear to the observer.

* Ask for clarification of anything you're unsure of.

* Try to summarise the main points of the feedback, asking the person who is giving the feedback if he or she agrees.

* Make sure the written feedback reflects what the observer has said - some people duck issues face to face.

* Ask for advice and act upon it. If you show that you are grateful for it, you'll get even more pearls of wisdom.

* Afterwards, reflect on the feedback. Feel good about the positive comments and think how the criticisms can help you improve.

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