What a first class year for rookies

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
The first year in class is tough, so newcomers need all the support they can get. Three probationers and a mentor talk to Karen Shead about their experiences

Joan Frampton, 27, a home economics teacher, is coming up to the end of her probationary year at Tain Royal Academy, Highland 'When you are doing your training you don't really spend long enough in the school to get to know it properly, so the probationary year allows you to get much more involved and really gives you the opportunity to see how everything works.

The 0.3 non-contact time has also been a tremendous help in broadening my teaching experience. It allows you to look into new areas that you haven't been able to develop before. And with a study programme you get the opportunity to cover just about everything you need to.

Time is always an important factor, but knowing that you have to record everything and that a report is being made, you make the effort and do all you have to do.

Having a mentor and weekly meetings has been really helpful. In these forums you can discuss any issues that happen to come up and you can talk about each day in the classroom and about strategies for coping.

Also, during the probationary year other people come in and watch you teaching. This is not as frightening as your lecturer coming into your class; even so, it's still a bit daunting at first, but I think it's a good idea. And because I am teaching every day and getting feedback, I am feeling more confident.

This has been an invaluable and positive experience.

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