It’s that OMG moment when you have been allocated your school and you go for your first visit. ‘Oh come on’ I can hear you say, we’ve done placements in 2 / 3 schools we know how this works. But be aware visiting a school that you are going to be in for 6 weeks is decidedly different from visiting a school where you are going to be spending the whole academic year. Here are some of my tips for visiting your new school.
1. Arrange a visit asap
As soon as you know the name of your school send an email or call and introduce yourself.
2. Make sure you know exactly where it is.
This may sound obvious but this place may (like mine) be in a part of the country you’ve never been to been to before and access might not be entirely obvious.
3. Ask for information but don’t broadcast it!
Put a plea out on social media for anyone who knows anything about the place or the school to private message or email you. If someone makes public negative comments about the area or school DO NOT reply / like or acknowledge it – delete it immediately.
4. Ask questions when you are there but don’t bombard them
Remember that when you visit other teachers are still busy working.
5. Be prepared to be there all day
Some schools will expect you to make a quick visit but others will want you to be there all day. Fit into their schedule.
6. Dress appropriately
You are now a member of staff at this school, dress like it. Turning up in your jeans and trainers is not really a good first impression to make. The pupils will see you and trust me they will remember you.
7. Learn where the most important things are
Some schools are mazes of identical corridors – find out where your classroom, staffroom, toilets, headteachers office, PT’s room, mentor’s room and canteen are. The rest will follow in due course.
And finally – this is a really exciting time and you move in to the next stage of your career. Happy face!