Survival of the wittiest

24th June 2005 at 01:00
Advice for teachers in their early career

It's hard to keep a sense of humour as you drag your report-exhausted body towards the summer break. Just make sure you get that third term assessment report to the local authority "appropriate body". It just needs to be signed by the head, induction tutor and you - there's no writing involved.

Remember your career entry and development profile? Don't forget to have your Transition Point 3 discussion with your induction tutor.

Still can't raise a smile? Then use the website at www.tta.gov.ukinduction which has the questions in a range of formats so you can just type in your responses. Allow at least half an hour because the questions require plenty of thinking time.

The first question asks "What do you feel have been your most significant achievements as a newly qualified teacher?" Answer? Surviving? Yes, but think of particular pupils, events or aspects of subjects that you're proud of.

The next question may prompt an "Aha" moment: "What have been your key learning moments and what brought them about?"

Maybe it was from seeing someone else teach, reading an article, going on a course or talking through a lesson.

This leads nicely into, "Which aspects of your induction support programme have you particularly valued and why?" Be honest! It'll help your induction tutor support other new teachers as well as insight into what worked for you.

How have you built on strengths, what were your objectives? Were you SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound? It's easier said than done, but maybe you've got more specific about what needs most urgent attention.

Lastly, thinking ahead, what do you want to improve and what professional development will help? This should feed into your teaching and learning review so that you sustain the progress you've made this year.

And keep an eye on what career path you want to follow so that you make the right choices when it comes to new opportunities - there are lots of them!

Sara Bubb's The Insider's Guide for New Teachers is published by TESKogan Page, pound;12.99. See www.tes.co.ukbookshop

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