Nine months' hard

9th May 2003 at 01:00
Feeling knackered? Hah. You haven't even got going yet. I bet it's fair to say that the last nine months have been, for most student teachers, the hardest nine months of your lives so far. I'm sure you're under no illusions though; once you start as a 'real' teacher in September, the memory of your training year is likely to feel warm, cosy and comforting in comparison to your new life as 'Miss' or 'Sir'.

Still, you've got between now and then to find a job, maybe find yourself somewhere to live, do all the things you need to get sorted before autumn and get yourself practically prepared and emotionally ready.

This summer issue of 'First Appointments' won't do the lot for you, but it'll go a long way to help. It's packed with information and advice to help you on your way to your first teaching job. In our cover feature on supplementary education Harvey McGavin investigates how a growing number of Saturday schools are motivating children to succeed when their mainstream schools sometimes can't, or don't. Page 32.

Men teaching young children is often viewed as something of a tricky business, fraught with suspicion and prejudice, even though the Government is keen to recruit more male early-years teachers. Men at Work (page 8) tackles the prejudices, and highlights some sucess stories - an essential read for all new early-years teachers.

This month sees the launch of 'The TES' Target Creativity campaign, and 'First Appointments' has found some great ideas for teaching creatively. On page 28, Tom Deveson shows how some teachers use music in the classroom as part of a learning environment and Harry Dodds looks at how debate can give pupils a sense of perspective, whatever your subject (page 30).

It's all too easy to live a life in total teacher mode, giving out in the staffroom about the incoherent and inarticulate children of today (it happens, very easily). Theatre director and long-time drama teacher Teresa Early explains why all teachers have a responsibility to teach children to speak properly (page 31).

But before you get to September, you've got loads of stuff to sort out.

That interview, for a start. Been asked to do an exemplar lesson? Read Virginia Hunt (page 12) on what you might be asked to do, how to do it to impress, and what to avoid at all costs. If you're looking for somewhere to live, Janet Murray's feature (page 16) on getting the best value for your teaching salary will be useful. You're going to be counting the pennies, so pay attention to page 10, TES Induction expert Sara Bubb's table of financial incentives you might be entitled to.

Come the start of term, you'll barely have time to eat, let alone live a life. NQT David Ogle tells you ten things you need to do before the end of the summer. See page 13.

If you picked up a free 'TES' at your college's recruitment fair, it's quite likely that you've met Maureen McTaggart, who represents the paper.

In a new regular column for 'First Appointments', Maureen makes some observations from her travels around the country to teacher training colleges. If you've got something to say about your training, your new job or feedback about the 'TES', she's your woman.

I hope you enjoy this issue and find it useful. As always, let me know how job hunting goes and how you survive your first days as a teacher. And email me if there are at issues that bother you about the training or the job. Your experiences could make the basis for a feature on these pages.

Fiona Flynn Editor, First Appointments:

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