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Confessions of a Probationer: Helpful advice and tips

Confessions of a Probationer

Confessions of a Probationer: Helpful advice and tips

Having gotten my first week of ‘real’ teaching out of the way and under my belt, I felt it best to share some advice that upcoming Modern Studies probationers might find useful.

Pre-Summer: Visit your school before the start of the Summer holidays and find out what topics each of your classes will look at, and where they will be when you pick up the lessons. Try to get copies of lesson materials for your reference.

During Summer: Enjoy Teacher’s New Year. Take the holidays off to unwind and relax. Get your mind off of teaching and begin to think about yourself for a short while.

End of Summer: Take time in August to prepare. Taking time in the two weeks preceding the start of the new school year will save you no end of issues when you start. Consider buying a Teacher’s Planner to structure your lessons.

Day one: Day one is important. Usually, day one is an Inservice Day, and this day offers you several opportunities. You’ll meet your new colleagues and soak up some great CPD. Enjoy it and take the settle to settle into your new surroundings.

Day one: Find your way around. It’s important to know where in your classrooms materials are kept. Knowing where the new jotters and key supplies are is always a must. Of course, knowing the school estate is good too – you’ll find an appreciation for the pupils who, upon occasion, might have to travel one the opposite end to your classroom.

First day of teaching: Nerves are good. Always remember that all teachers are constantly learning, so being nervous is never a bad thing. Once the first class is over, the nerves will subside.

First week: Download and work through the GTCS New Starter Checklist. This checklist can facilitate great discussions between you and colleagues, and you will quickly find out more about your school.

First week: Speak to colleagues you can trust. Teaching is never the same; every pupil in every class is different every time you see them. The sands upon which our career is founded are eternally shifting. Therefore, seeking support and advice can always be a great help.

First week: Have time for yourself in the week. Whether it’s each night, one weeknight or the whole weekend, build time into your schedule to relax.

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Modern Studies Association

The Modern Studies Association (MSA) is the professional body for Modern Studies Teachers, in Scotland. The MSA uses its position to consult with members and relay feedback to relevant bodies, such as Education Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Membership of the MSA is free and open to all Modern Studies Teachers.

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