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Top tips for your first day in a new role

By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education

Experienced teacher Katie Scott, shares her advice for those about to embark on a new role in teaching. Whether you’re an NQT or an experienced teacher taking the next step in your career, you may find the following useful.

The advice below draws from my own personal experiences of teaching.

1.If you can, spend a day or two in your new school before you start - this will allow you to observe the culture of the school. Read the behaviour and uniform policy to ensure you use the language of expectation that students are familiar with – it will make them think you know more than you actually do.

2. Behave as if you know exactly what is happening. Students will sense if you are nervous, so it’s best to project as much confidence as you can.

3. Reserve judgement and resist making comments about how things are done compared to what you are used to. The reasons for, and the strengths of systems in different places aren't always straight forward.

4. Plan for as many different eventualities as you can. Ensure you have found out in advance where the paper / exercise books / equipment is. Have a filler activity that is applicable to all situations in case what you have planned does not work for technical or other reasons.

5. If your day is brilliant don't be complacent and let your guard down or think detailed planning is not required. If your day is awful, remember that going to a new school is really hard, whether you are an NQT or a new senior leader. Reflect on what you could have done to make things go better. Focus on the successes you did have.

Getting the basics right will make your lessons far more effective and less stressful from your first day in teaching until your last.

If you are looking for a new challenge or want to discuss your current or future recruitment needs, please contact your local Hays Education recruitment consultant.

About this author

Paul has been with Hays since 1999 and the National Director of Hays Education since 2007. He is responsible for leading experts from 40 offices across the UK who specialise in recruiting for Early Years, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education and Leadership staff on a daily supply, long term supply or permanent basis. His extensive experience is invaluable to ensuring schools, colleges, nurseries, academies and MATs have access to the best possible candidates.

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