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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.

Have you got a reflective article you’d like to submit? Click here to find out more about the submission requirements.

Confessions of a Probationer

Confessions of a Probationer: A liberating experience

So I’m four days in to actually teaching my own classes now (its alot easier without someone breathing down your neck that’s for sure!) and I feel a sense of empowerment and liberty. One thing I am finding difficult to grasp or at least get my head around is teaching an integrated course which incorporates all three social subjects as opposed to teaching your own subject in a rotation.

The thing I am finding most difficult is teaching a subject that I know nothing about (i.e Geography), even if I am looking over the lessons and doing my own research. To an extent I feel that I am short changing students as I may be unable to answer any questions that a specialist may be able to answer. Though as I said I’ve only been in the classroom for four days, it may (and hopefully will) change over the next few weeks.

Have you got a reflective article you’d like to submit? Click here to find out more about the submission requirements.

European Union flag

Free CPD conference on Brexit and the EU

A free CPD conference focusing on teaching the European Union and the UK’s exit from the European Union is set to come to Scotland.

Entitled ‘Teaching the European Union and Brexit with Confidence’, the free conference has been organised by Active Citizens FE, on behalf of the European Parliament UK Office, working in collaboration with The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT).

In addition to the conference being free to attend, teachers can have their travel expenses paid for.

Aimed at school and college staff who deal with students between the ages of 11 and 18 years, the conference is an opportunity for teachers to learn more about the issues arising from Brexit, as well as gather examples of good practice on how to teach both Brexit and the EU with confidence.

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Confessions of a Probationer

Modern Studies Probationers invited to share good practice and resources

Are you a Modern Studies probationer? If the answer is yes, we want to hear from you.

The Modern Studies Association (MSA) is proud to announce the soon-to-be launch of ‘Confessions of a Probationer’ – a series of anonymous updates from Modern Studies Probationers the length and breadth of Scotland.

Each update will be completely anonymous, not mention any names (including names of schools or local authorities), and will provide you with an opportunity to highlight good practice, promote helpful resources and share advice with others who might be progressing alongside you, or looking to become a Modern Studies Teacher.

As part of the new project, you are invited to submit as many – or as few – updates as you wish through our website. Your update will then be published in due course, provided that it meets the criteria below (you’ll have to login to view it).

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Speaking Out Project

Speaking Out Project to launch Women’s Aid resource

Later this month, the Speaking Out Project (a Heritage Lottery Funded project that is recording and celebrating the 40-year history of Women’s Aid in Scotland) will launch their new learning resource, aimed at young people in secondary education.

At the launch on August 29th, the Speaking Out Project will unveil their new resources which are aimed at engaging young people with the issues of gender inequality and domestic abuse, as well as activism concerned with – and the history of – Women’s Aid in Scotland.

The resources have been developed with secondary school education in mind, and have been designed to achieve CfE Level 3 and 4 Outcomes for Social Subjects. They will also fit the National 5 Modern Studies curriculum. The lessons and activities are also of benefit to more informal education settings.

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The SCCJR is seeking feedback on Modern Studies resources

The Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research (SCCJR) is seeking the opinion of Modern Studies Teachers across Scotland.

The SCCJR is specifically seeking practitioners’ views on the range of learning resources that they have produced for pupils, schools and teachers.

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MSA Annual Conference

MSA Annual Conference 2017

Book your tickets before 15 September to save with our early bird offer. Booking before 5pm on 15 September means your ticket price is £50. Those who book beyond that date will be charged a flat rate of £70.

This year’s conference will take place on Saturday 4th November; and, in response to feedback given from last year’s attendees, the Conference will once again return to the Queen Margaret Union (QMU), in Glasgow.

The event run from 10:25am until 3.30pm, with registration and access to the venue opening from 9:30am.

As ever, the event promises to be an exciting day, with a packed itinerary.

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Scottish Parliament Chamber

Education and Skills Committee is asking for your views

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee is asking for your views.

As part of an inquiry into the recruitment and retention of teachers across Scotland, the Committee is asking for the opinions of Teachers, Trainee Teachers, Headteachers and other school staff.

Questions being considered as part of the inquiry include:

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Welcome to the MSA’s new website

Welcome to the brand new website of the Modern Studies Association.

We hope that you enjoy our new look. It has been specially designed to work better across all devices. The new website also features a brand new Member’s Login – with each member of the MSA to receive their own unique login in due course.

About Us

Learn more about the Modern Studies Association

The Modern Studies Association is a national organisation aimed at working collaboratively to share resources and good practice across all of Scotland’s Modern Studies departments.

The organisation – which is open and free for every Modern Studies teacher to join – also lobbies policy makers to ensure that the Modern Studies curriculum is fit for purpose.

Through surveys, National Conference and our online Members service, the Modern Studies Association aims to ensure that the voice of Modern Studies teachers up and down the length and breadth of Scotland is heard clearly.