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How to make a good lasting impression on your first day at a new school

Updated: Feb 13

It is important to leave a good impression of yourself to your colleagues and pupils on your first day at a new school whether you are a supply teacher or a permanent member of staff.

It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, to lay the foundations for building long-lasting and profitable relationships and it’s a positive way to settle in, reduce any stressful or anxious feelings and set expectations for the future.

As in everything, preparation is key. Ask your new school for key policies on teaching and learning, and behaviour before arrival, so you can have a good look and become familiar with these. If they have a school handbook, that’s useful too and don’t forget the school website and social media presence as useful sources of information. If you have found your placement through Inspiring Teaching, speak to your consultant who will help you source all of this information for you.

You will have met some personnel during the recruitment process so it’s helpful to remind yourself of names and other pertinent details you captured before you walk in. If not, then be prepared to meet a lot of new names and faces, and sometimes a notepad to capture them is useful whilst you commit them all to memory. It’s also a great idea to be clear on what you are looking to achieve in this role and our intentions, and be willing and ready to share them with people who ask. It might be smart to practise a soundbite introduction as ‘on-the-spot’ introductions are inevitable in the staffroom and classroom.

One of the important and unique facets to a school, and one that not being in synch with is a sure-fire way to stand out in a negative way, is the culture. So, try to understand as much about it as you can so you can fit in at least to all appearances, as well as working out who's who. That is one of the advantages of working with a good recruiter, like inspiring teaching, who can give you lots of pointers.

Coming into the school, it’s crucial to understand what your role is and was it is not.

Speak to your consultant or the department head or line manager, or try and speak to those in similar positions to try to gain an understanding of what is expected.

When you start meeting people, be open-minded, patient, and positive. Prepare for each induction meeting, ask questions if uncertain and take the initiative if you feel that there are people or things you haven’t yet be shown. If you do notice cliques, try to stay neutral and don’t just stay within your department, as this may stop you forming other helpful relationships, notably with other new teachers within the wider school community.

Be yourself, act as you mean to carry on and install good habits. Try to involve your TAs in as much planning, preparation and assessment as possible as this will demonstrate that you value their support, and don’t forget the office and other support staff members. In general with all interactions, listen, learn and try to develop relationships before giving any criticism or sharing negative thoughts, at least before you understand more of the dynamics, attitudes and relationships of your new surroundings.

The team at Inspiring Teaching share your passion for teaching and are with every stage of the recruitment process and beyond. If you are looking for a new opportunity, we currently have lots on our books so speak to us today.

Making a good impression

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