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Top tips for getting the most out of your Second Initial Teacher Training Placement with Kingsbridge

21 February 2022 (by admin)

Jen Machaj Director of SCITT share her top ten tips for getting the most out of your second teaching placement

I get asked by numerous trainees why is it important that we teach in a different school? I always respond by saying… ‘’working in another school will provide you with an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast different approaches to all aspects of teaching in your specified age range, from different backgrounds to other wider areas of work that teachers are involved as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and to school organisation and management’’.

Kingsbridge, however, acknowledge that arriving at a second placement school after settling into your main placement school can be daunting; try not to let the pressure get to you.

Here are my ten tips for successful second placement:

  1. Visit the school before the placementso that you can see what the commute is going to be like, check what the dress code is, meet your new colleagues and get their contact details.
  2. Be early. This will give you time to introduce yourself to the office and teaching support staff. You can also see how teachers greet colleagues, pupils and parents etc.
  3. Try to find a good location for your paperwork having a safe and secure area for your paperwork/belonging will remove the barrier of worrying you may misplace notes etc.
  4. Be helpful.Don’t just sit there… start building relationships from day one with the school, its teachers, and pupils. Networking provides a channel where you can gain more knowledge.
  5. Understand the school ethos and curriculum, Second placements are meant to be contrasting. So will be different to your main school placement. Review the school website to understand its curriculum and ethos. It is important you understand the school policies for safeguarding and behaviour but also its learning strategies and techniques for praise. Once children get used to you, you can experiment with your own techniques learnt through your core training.
  6. Remember you are a guest in someone else’s domain. Be considerate whilst still applying what you have learnt during your training. You might even share some evidence informed practices that may be of benefit to others.
  7. Learn to love the staffroom. As tempting as it is to go out at lunchtime to get a decent coffee and a breather from all the social interaction, you will fit in more quickly if you stay on the premises. Become one of the team, by integrating yourself in the life of school, you will also pick up more tips and advice and this will help if you want to go back and get a job there too.
  8. Consider bribery Take biscuits or chocolate in your first week, as these are a great conversation opener. Sit next to a different person each time if you can.
  9. Network and share. Stay connected with people in the same subject or phase as you via professional networks, whilst remembering to lock down your social media so that your profiles reflect your professional status and Part 2 of the teacher standards.
  10. Go home. Don’t stay until the caretaker locks you in. You need time to reflect, but your relaxation will be enhanced if you keep up with paperwork every day.

Finally, remember that the first few days are always the hardest. As soon as staff see you as a hardworking, conscientious, and friendly trainee they will involve you in all sorts of things. Before long you will feel like a valued member of the team and don’t forget Kingsbridge will be with you every step of the way.

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