Starting At A New School After The Christmas Break

Jenny WiddowsonI’m about to teach my first lesson in a month, in a brand-new school.  Will I remember how to juggle timing, behaviour management, questioning whilst making a great initial impression on my new mentor/host?  Will the class behave as well as they do for their normal teacher for me?  Can I work the smart boards at this school?  How will I adjust from 1 hour to 50-minute lessons?

This month is a period of worries, if it’s not starting at a new school it’s the fact that there are now tons of maths teaching vacancies available and as someone new to this sector how do you know when and where to start with looking for that elusive position for the NQT year?

But the good news is, there is also a lot to be really happy about.  It is definitely quicker getting started in the second placement.  Whilst the focus of teaching may be slightly different, in my case moving from focusing on differentiation to teaching to the top with personalised scaffolding, reflecting on the fact that in September I didn’t really know what these words meant at all must mean I’ve come a really long way.  Even in the first lesson I’m re-using resources I’ve already made and using adapted resources from sources I now know like the back of my hand.

Of course, another great thing is – the maths is still the same.  Whilst the school I’m moving to has prescribed ways to teach areas like re-arranging equations there is still plenty of scope for putting your own mark on things.

Before Christmas I was very sad to be leaving the classes, I’d built relationships and left behind, but I’m already finding my new school is packed full of amazing students to work with and is going to give me a great opportunity to learn from a new perspective.

By Jenny Widdowson