BewareTomato
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#1
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#1
Hello

I'm about to go into my first week of training (Schools direct) and I feel very anxious--

Does anyone have any tips for coping with workload?
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airfixfighter
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#2
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I did a PGCE and have started my NQT this year. My biggest thing with workload was staying in school to get work done and trying my best not to take it home. Obviously sometimes I did, and today I'm planning for Tues/Weds, but it helped me maintain my work life balance.
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thenextchemist
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#3
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I'm doing schools direct too and just had my induction week at my placement school and I absolutely loved it.
My mentor is a gem and helped me through everything.

(I'm doing secondary chemistry btw so some tips may not be useful to you)

Tip 1: Ask for a copy of the scheme of work throughout the year so you know what you will be teaching and you can plan ahead for certain lessons. This will help with your workload and time management. If they don't give you a teacher planner, make sure you get one with the 6 periods, this will also help with organisation.

Tip 2: Get a hard drive and copy your schools shared resources section so you don't have to spend a lot of time making your own resources but instead can adapt the ones that are already available.

Tip 3: You will get a copy of your timetable. You are likely to be teaching year 9 and 10 (if your doing secondary) and they will have probably will have started the GCSE curriculum so study the exam board that your school teaches.

Tip 4: Do a self-tour around the school, know where everything is such as staffroom, lunch room, photocopying and printing room, etc. Try and also get a copy of the staff handbook which your mentor would probably give to you. Also, if you do intend to drive, ask about the parking policy at your school.

Tip 5: In your free periods of your timetable, ask to observe different teachers and note down all the different techniques they use.

Tip 6: For the classes you teach, get a print out of the class photos so you can learn names easily and when your observing the classes, you can spot who are the naughty ones. Also highlight the students who are G+T and SEN so when you are planning lessons, you can plan accordingly to different learning abilities if the lesson requires it.

I hope these tips help! I haven't even properly started yet but I've learnt so much and it's only been an induction week!
Last edited by thenextchemist; 1 week ago
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SarcAndSpark
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#4
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I'm also a new NQT who did my PGCE last year. My top tips would be:

-Don't try to plan too much until you have met the classes you will be teaching. Planning loads for a class you've never met is likely to be wasted effort as you can end up planning lots of discussion tasks for the class who don't like to speak, or giving the students too much challenge which can turn them off pretty quickly.

-Look through schemes of work so you know what the students already know. You'll have an easier time if you don't assume knowledge.

-Don't make work for yourself. If something needs chopping up (for example) the kids can do that. Don't waste your own time!

-Try not to spend longer planning a lesson than you will be teaching it for! Yes, your lesson could always be better, but good enough is good enough. Personally, I like to get the bare bones of content and big tasks in first, then spend time adding in the extras afterwards!

-Plan your time- so allocate time for planning, marking, PGCE work, getting your admin done and so on. Think about what needs to be done in school and what can be done at home.

-Try to plan about 48 hours ahead. I found this hit a happy medium between not wasting time on planning things I didn't use, but not leaving me panicking and running out of time.

-Steal things. There are loads of great resources for free online on TES and other websites. You can also steal ideas from paid for resources. Don't re-invent the wheel! If your school has a perfectly good basic worksheet, you can adapt that for your class. I would say try not to just use lessons as is from your school system though- at least show you've adapted them to your class!

-Get a copy of the textbook the school uses at GCSE and A-level.

-Don't volunteer to take on too much too soon, especially in your first placement!

Those are my big suggestions, but honestly, you will find a way to cope, and you will be eased into it. And if you are struggling, there are a lot of people around who you can ask for help!
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ByEeek
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I like thenextchemist's tips but I would suggest for tip4 that you set up a one drive or Goggle Drive account as some school (mine for example) have banned USB access. Plus I knew a student whose pen drive with everything corrupted.

My tips are:
- savour and remember those lovely moments. Thise nice exchanges with polite students. Thise light bulb moments.
- Look after yourself. Eat well and timetable in down time.

Good luck and have fun!
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BewareTomato
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#6
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Thank you all!
I had my first lesson alone with the class! Felt overwhemling 😭😭😭
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