The sooner you get to know your new school and colleagues, the more efficient you will be. If you have landed a job in the school where you did your teaching practice, you will already know some of the staff and be familiar with the ethos of the school. But the chances are it will all be new to you. A move to a new school, perhaps in a new local authority, means new people, policies and practices.
First impressions are lasting and can shape how people react to you. You only have a few seconds when you first meet people to make a good impression, so make sure that you present the real you and not a caricature of who you would like to be.
Make sure that you turn up on time, so plan your route to work. Remember that, when schools start back, your travelling time may increase due to the extra traffic.
It is worth spreading out beyond your year team or department to get to know a range of people, from the admin staff to the teaching assistants, technicians and support staff. Staying in a close-knit group can alienate you from other teachers.
Be sure to join in social activities, as this is a great way of networking and getting to know your colleagues. But do not go mad on a night out or social event until you know the staff and they know you.
Policies vary from school to school. Every school has protocols on behaviour, homework, child protection and health and safety, but there will be many more less well-known policies tucked away in the files. Getting to grips with them can seem daunting, but what matters is how the policies are put into practice.
Do not be surprised if colleagues claim that they do not know about various policies and never follow them. You still need to know what they are and bear them in mind. Following the custom and practice of your department or colleagues is fine up to a point, but you still need to know what the management of the school expects and be ready to justify why you did not follow a policy if something goes wrong. Ignorance is no defence.
The move from trainee to professional teacher means that some things you did as a student will no longer work - for example, very detailed lesson planning and evaluations. While colleagues should help and back you when dealing with poor behaviour or problems in class, you will be expected to stand on your own two feet.
It is important to fit in with the routines and ethos of the school. The day-to-day practices of the staff and pupils will have been built up over time. If behaviour is poor, staff will be working hard to change that and you can play an active part. But many staff will object when a "new broom" comes in and tries to sweep away established working practices.
Take a lead from your induction mentor or department head and get to know how people work, especially how information is communicated. For example, do most people prefer email, instant messaging, phone calls or face-to- face communication? Do not assume that your preferred method of communication is theirs.