Starting your new job

Created on: 20 Aug 2020 | Last modified: 08 Nov 2021

Art teacher

Starting your New Career

Your first job can be exciting, nerve-wracking and fulfilling. You will find what works for you in your classroom and the EIS can support you as you set out and throughout your career. 

The EIS holds events for new and probationer teachers locally and nationally. Contact your school rep for more information. If you don't have a rep in your school, your local association can support you and give you more information. Your local organiser can also support you and members in your school. 

Some Tips as You Start Out Your New Career

If your new post begins in the new academic year, why don’t you offer to visit the school for a day or so before the end of the school year to find out more and hit the ground running.

Getting to Know the Whole School 

Staff in the staffroom

Once you've started - take some time getting to know your way around the whole school. As well as knowing your classroom and department/group is, visit other classrooms/departments and meet other teachers. Your school life will not only be in your classroom and it's important to know where other departments are if you need to send a pupil or meet with other  teachers there. 

Learn How Things Work at School eg Procedures and Policies 

There should be a recognised behavioural policy and may well be a marking and a homework policy. These are important to know – as they set out what the school expects from you. If you are a victim of a violent or aggressive incident, then you should report this on the appropriate form. These forms should be easily accessible.  

Make sure you plan ahead if you carry out science lessons or need specialist resources. Many new teachers also assist in after school clubs or such like. This will also give you an  opportunity to meet a range of pupils and staff. 

Get to Know Your Pupils

talking to pupil

Learn your pupils' names. There are many ways that teachers use to do this, whether it's marked seating plans or photos next to pupils' names. Find out what works for you. Learning your pupils not only means learning their names; if there are pupils that you find difficult ask other teachers or last year's teacher for advice. Once you get to know your pupils better, you will get more rewarding lessons. 

Shadow another teacher 

Shadowing, even if it the other teacher is in another age group or subject lets you learn different strategies, interactions and classroom discipline techniques. You also get to see how other teachers have their classrooms set up and how they manage their resources.

Most teachers are happy to have you there but don't force yourself onto a teacher who’d rather not! 

Break down staffroom barriers 

Staffrooms can often end up segregated by maths teachers sitting together eg PE staff claiming a corner. Lunch or interval is used to talk about a subject problem. It's important you talk to other teachers about other issues just to relax and get to know your colleagues. 

Be creative 

Now you have entered the profession, this is your chance to bring in the passion you have for the job. Let that shine through in your lessons. 

Remember to take care of yourself 

woman reading

Your first year in teaching will be an intense one. It is important to keep a balance and take time to rest and recharge. If you find that your workload is getting too much and not allowing you this time, speak to the rep in your school.