Put yourself in the spotlight

21st September 2007 at 01:00
If you need help or guidance, ask for it. There's no such thing as a perfect teacher, says Sara Bubb

Have you been observed yet? If you've started your induction year, you should be observed within the first four weeks and then every six weeks or so after that. Feedback on your teaching is valuable so it's worth getting as much as you can out of it. It should reassure you about all that's going well and give you pointers on what to improve.

It needs to be done properly though and that means sitting down beforehand with whoever will be observing and thrashing out the nitty gritty. When are they coming? What do they want to see? How long are they staying for? It might be useful to focus on organisation and behaviour management for the first observation. Think about what is going to help you develop.

Teaching requires a lot of self-confidence so you should be looking to people to boost yours rather than knock it. With a bit of luck, you'll feel brave enough as the year goes on to be observed teaching something that normally doesn't go well.

Being nervous is normal, but try to address your worries and do something about them. If you're worried that your mind will go blank do a clear written plan that very act will help lodge the lesson in your mind. Keep your plan to hand on a distinctive clipboard to avoid it getting lost, but have a spare in case you leave it somewhere.

Think of the questions you're going to ask and try to rehearse the lesson structure in your mind. Do everything you can to feel confident. Wear your favourite teaching clothes, encourage others to boost your mood, sleep well and tell yourself that you're going to teach brilliantly.

Don't panic if things start to go wrong. Think on your feet. There's no such thing as a perfect teacher (except in your mind) so lessons don't have to be perfect, but you can show that you're reflective, making progress and acting on adv ***

Sara Bubb's Successful Induction for New Teachers is published by Paul Chapman

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