By Kate Chinner
EDITION #1 – How do I get started?
Published – 20th February 2019
Kate Chinner from the Teacher Learning Network helps you navigate the first few weeks
In your first few weeks of teaching there are so many things to do. Teachers are mostly focused on their classrooms and what they will teach. Here are 5 helpful hints that will assist you as a teacher in the first few weeks at your new school.
Introduce yourself to key people
When you get an opportunity, introduce yourself to key people around the school. It’s nice to get to know names and faces but it’s also important because you will have lots of questions and will need extra support in the first few months.
Make sure you have had a chat with:
- The Principal, Assistant Principal and the Leading Teachers.
- The office staff who will assist you with daily procedures including: marking the Roll, notices, money collection and key student information. Start this rapport early.
- Education Support Staff who may be working with students in your classroom.
- Other graduates around the school. Start to build that support from other people who are going through the same thing. Make time to catch up and talk about successes and challenges that you are facing on a day to day basis.
Laptop/accessing Wi-Fi, servers and accessing school documents
There are occasions when getting access to technology is slower than you would like, e.g. a school laptop and passwords. Use your mentor or a leader around the school to get help and ask about interim arrangements. Also look for workarounds:
- Are you able to access the school’s server or internet from your own laptop or device?
- Can someone in your team help ensure that you receive all important emails/ information until you are up and running?
Edumail – not just an email address.
Edumail is one of the ways that you will communicate with other teachers and staff around the school and receive important information. Ask the technicians to create Edumail through Microsoft Outlook on your laptop. On Outlook, you can use the calendar section. This means that you will be able to view scheduled meetings or invite people to meetings. This will be helpful for setting up meetings with your mentor and to see what your week ahead looks like. There is also a reminder feature and to do list feature which can help you get organised in your first few weeks.
Your Edumail address and password will also help you get access to Edupay, where you can view your payslips and ensure all your details are correct. Your Edumail address can also get you access to the Department sites such as FUSE.
Hopefully by now it is clear who your mentor is. If you don’t have one, ask someone from the school leadership team to assist you with this. If you do have one, I am sure they have been helpful with showing you around and letting you know important information. But make sure you sit down and get to know each other professionally and organise regular catch ups to discuss teaching and learning. You may want to use the Mentoring Capability Framework as a guide to establishing and organising the mentoring relationship.
The Department of Education and Training have created an Graduate Teacher Induction Guide. Make sure you print and read it and work through it with your mentor.