A Headteacher’s Wonderings; Two Years in! by @susanwalter99

As our new crop of ‘mushroom farmers’ joins us then, my advice to them, and to all teachers starting in new schools this year is as follows:

  1. Book your half term and Christmas holidays now – you will be exhausted by then, and really need some downtime (especially if you have joined an international school like mine form the UK and almost completely missed out on your summer break!)
  2. Remember
    • Teaching is not just a job – you chose the school and they chose you because you proved to them during the recruitment process that you were just what they were looking for (and if you didn’t’ get that job, read my last blog on recruitment HERE!)
    • You know kids, and you know how to build positive and strong relationships with them, so make this your number one priority.
  3. Ask questions. Then more questions. And still more questions. No one will mind, we have all been there.
  4. Get on and get things done! Don’t just strategise or wait until you are absolutely, completely sure, otherwise, you may never get started.
  5. Think about why you are so tired; about all the learning you have had to do every day, and then think about how the students in your care are doing that all day every day!
  6. The timings for morning break and lunchtime are not yet in your DNA, the meeting programme is not the same as in your last school and you may well forget to check where the nearest staff toilets are to your classroom. You may need reminding about deadlines and routines from time to time too, but don’t stress – these things will come.
  7. Give yourself a break – your new school is not the same as your old one and you will not get everything right from day one, and no one expects you to.
  8. Look for all the positives – don’t focus on how your new school is not the same as your old one, focus on all the new and exciting things this one has to offer.
  9. Ask for help. If you are in the right school, it will be willingly given.

Dave Harris, author of Brave Heads  (HERE) has other advice which I believe is most pertinent too:

  • ‘If it isn’t going to benefit the pupil’s learning – don’t do it.’
  • ‘If it can be done in a fun way, then why not do it that way?’
  • ‘The glass is half full – ALWAYS!’

Remember, you are a mushroom farmer teacher, and were recruited because you are a jolly good one. We want you to enjoy every day in your mushroom field new classroom, building new and exciting relationships with your students, your colleagues and everyone in the school community.

Give yourself time to acclimatise.

And when you come to the new staff drinks this time next year, you will feel different. You will understand our school culture, and you will have had a positive impact on it. You will have made a difference. Click your fingers and it will be here before you know it!

We really do have the best job in the world.


This article originally appeared at http://susanwalter.co.uk/education-blog/dbis-headteacher/

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About Susan Walter 7 Articles
I believe passionately in education; making learning relevant, challenging and exciting for all learners, and in many ways follow the mantra of Dr. Seuss’s Cat In The Hat: “It’s fun to have fun but you’ve got to know how!”

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