Induction made easy

5th May 2000 at 01:00

This book makes a useful contribution to the important area of induction. There is much in it to interest newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in both primary and middle schools. It will also be useful to students. Its style is light and the variety of headings, tables and boxes make it easy to dip into for a quick read. Those supporting NQTs will find the case studies and activities particularly useful for in-service training.

There are practical ideas on areas of concern for inexperienced teachers. It covers: principles of good teaching, creating a positive classroom climate; planning, organisation, teaching strategies, control, assessment; and professional relationships.

Throughout, advice is practical and realistic - there are interesting points about seeing the classroom through the children's eyes, checklists for preparing a first teaching position, and tips for managing behaviour.

Denis Hayes also describes some useful ways to assess and record what children know. The chapters on creating a classroom climate and planning lessons will e very useful for students as well as NQTs. There may not, however, be much to challenge the most successful beginner teachers - and there are plenty around.

And I was dis-appointed by the lack of emphasis on the 10 induction standards. Hayes lists "areas for development during the induction period", which draws on parts of the standards, but he omits some features and adds others. For instance, responsibility for professional development is not included.

Hayes lists "playing your part as a team player" and "contributing to extra-curricular activities", which are not mentioned in the induction standards. This could result in the neglect of key criteria.

The end-of-chapter audits and checklists provide useful and manageable ways for NQTs to think about their progress. These could also be used to demonstrate that they meet the standards for the end of the induction period.

This book is a useful addition to a staffroom library, particularly if used alongside the DfEE Circular 599 The Induction Period for Newly Qualified Teachers and the TTA Supporting Induction booklets.

Sara Bubb is an induction consultant and a lecturer at The Institute of Education

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