Your first school placement can seem daunting, but it can also be a lot of fun.
Placement gives you the opportunity to put into practice all the skills that you have learned so far and 'find your feet' in the classroom.
Arrange, with your mentor and Headteacher, a time to visit the school prior to commencing your placement. Use the opportunity to find out which classes you will teach, levels, any significant information about individual pupils that you should be aware of (medical, behavioural etc) as well as the policies and protocols of the school.
Introduce yourself to your school EIS Representative while you are on placement and be part of union activities in school.
It's a good idea to find out who the EIS Rep is at the start of your school placement and make sure that the Rep knows you are a student member. You may want to ask for advice or information. Take the opportunity to attend any school EIS meetings held during your placement.
If a school EIS Rep is not available, then please contact the appropriate Organiser for your TEI. Details can be found here: www.eis.org.uk/Contacts/Organisers.
Your health and wellbeing are important
Teaching can be a stressful and exhausting profession so taking care of your own health is very important. Support should be available in school or through your university so please talk to someone if you need to. The well being of everyone in a school community is a fundamental pre-requisite for productive teaching and learning.
Always ask questions
If you are unsure about where to find something, how to set up equipment or how you should deal with a particular issue, your colleagues and your mentor should be able to help.
If you find yourself socialising in a place where pupils or parents from your school may be, then remember to behave appropriately. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are now part of personal and professional life. It is important to think carefully about your privacy settings on personal accounts and devices and familiarise yourself with the school’s social media use policy for any professional accounts and devices.
Regularly update your school experience file
If you keep this organised, then you will avoid trying to remember experiences and writing last minute updates.
If you become ill
You should inform your school as well as your university tutor immediately.
Join the Union
EIS membership is FREE to students and will automatically be upgraded to full EIS membership at the start of your induction year. EIS Membership continues to be free for up to 16 months from the start of your probation. The EIS is the largest and most influential teachers’ organisation in Scotland. With around 55,000 members it is the union of choice for over 80% of the profession. The EIS campaigns for improved salaries and conditions for all teachers and lecturers. EIS benefits include advice and assistance while you’re on placement and legal protection and insurance against theft and damages arising from work as a teacher.