Time to reflect on your first term

28th November 2003 at 00:00
Advice for teachers in their early career

Don't forget that amid all your school and personal Christmas preparations, you need to have your assessment meeting about your end-of-term induction report. This is probably the last thing that your head and induction tutor feel like doing, but it really is important for you. The form has to be posted to your local education authority, in its role as what is rather strangely called the "appropriate body".

Many new teachers worry about what they should do for their first assessment. Don't panic. You'll have been setting targets, planning, teaching, assessing, managing pupils, using individual education plans, working with support staff, talking to parents, implementing school policies and taking an active part in your professional development - in fact everything covered by the qualified teacher status and induction standards. Discuss them with your induction tutor to see what progress you're making.

There are new induction forms but they weren't ready for the beginning of term so lots of authorities sent out the old ones instead. The only way to tell whether you've got the right one is to look at the three headings: if they read "Professional values and practice, Knowledge and understanding, and Teaching", you've got the latest version*.

Your headteacher has to tick one of two statements: either you're on track or you're not. It really isn't the end of the world if you're not making satisfactory progress in the first term. In fact it helps because you should get more targeted support. It's only the judgment at the end of the third term that really matters.

Your head must tick the monitoring and support that have been provided. If anything is missing, the local authority will want to know why.

Your tutor will probably be responsible for writing the reports. Make sure you're happy with what's written about you - that it's a fair reflection.

You can suggest additions or revisions to the wording.

You can choose whether you make a comment on the report. Some NQTs say which parts of their induction have been most useful; others defend themselves; others write about their strengths and areas for development.

*You can find the form at www.teachernet.gov.ukdocbankindex.cfm?id=5169

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