From theory into practice
With all the changes to induction this year, NQTs need all the help they can get. Getting Started makes a useful contribution.
Once you get past the corny and unattractive illustrations, there is much to interest both experienced and newly qualified primary and secondary teachers. Its style is light and the format of tables, headings and boxes makes for easy reading. Those supporting NQTs will find it particularly useful.
There are many useful ideas on areas that typically concern inexperienced teachers. The tips on time and stress management will help NQTs prioritise and stay positive about their progress.
Liebling suggests interesting strategies for building relationships through games and circle time. There is a useful emphasis on a consistent system of reward and sanctions.
Positive behaviour management is advocated, with its emphasis on praise and "catching pupils being good" to produce a pleasant classroom atmosphere. Admirable though this is, there is little advice on how to deal with bad behaviour - something many NQTs face daily.
Much of the book is devoted to explaining how psychological theories, such as neuro-linguistic programmng, accelerated learning and transactional analysis, can be used in teaching. They will be of particular interest to those who want to plug the gaps in current QTS standards-driven initial training courses.
Liebling explains complex ideas in a clear and lively manner. The section on different learning styles and the importance of teaching that uses watching, listening and moving (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) is particularly useful for teachers of older pupils.
There is little emphasis on what NQTs are entitled to and what they can expect from the support, guidance and assessment components of the statutory induction period. This is perhaps because the book was written before the four TTA's Supporting Induction booklets were published late last year.
The traffic light approach to looking at the 10 induction standards could be a useful starting point for NQTs in analysing what they are able to do, and what is holding them up or blocking them. Certainly the annotated bibliography, and list of websites and books relating to each of the standards, is useful, particularly for those supporting NQTs in school.
Sara Bubb is an induction consultant and a lecturer at the Institute of Education. Her book for induction tutors is published by David Fulton in July