Stay afloat on your practice

19th November 2004 at 00:00
Most teachers would agree that your first teaching practice is a dive into the deep end of school life. Have a good teaching practice and you feel ready to take on the world. If you have a bad time in school, it doesn't mean you're going to be a poor teacher, but some experts reckon that those who do school-based training are less likely to drop out than PGCE students. And, let's face it, after a year of deep-end teaching, the induction year is probably a bit of a doddle.

School-based training is definitely on the up. More than 5,000 people are training to teach "on the job" this year, and the graduate teacher programme scheme, in particular, looks set to grow and grow.

The forum for GTP students on The TES website has become really popular since we launched it. We've now introduced a GTP agony aunt to help with problems and answer your questions.

This issue of First Appointments for the academic year is packed with information and advice for all new and trainee teachers. We've got tips to keep your planning manageable and meaningful, and some reminders on writing essays. If you're still not clear what kind of teacher you are, take a look at Sue Cowley's favourite teacher-types on page 6. You might be feeling a bit freaked out by the whole business of dealing with pupils, but do you really need professional help? One experienced teacher argues that new teachers should keep well away from behaviour management consultants and use your common sense(page 8).

If you're on the GTP, you'll appreciate our crucial guide to building up your portfolio on page 14. Some GTPers say they feel a bit isolated, but GTP students in Oxfordshire get together in technology workshops. See our photo feature on page 20.

And to really get you in the school mood, you can find out what nits, that notorious occupational hazard, look like on page 31.

Enjoy your term, and even if you feel a bit like the chap in our backpage cartoon sometimes, do let us know how your teacher training is going, whatever route you are taking.

Editor, First Appointments: fiona.flynn@tes.co.uk

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