Search

Smart Teachers' Blog

An international hub supporting teachers and conversation

How to refocus your class after the holidays

Summer term is finally upon us, and after a fun-filled Easter break it’s been two weeks since you and your students last stepped into the classroom. Although that’s not a super-lengthy period, the thought of going back school can be daunting for students and teachers alike. Actually, we’re pretty sure it’s just the parents who get to chill in this scenario!

In today’s post, primary teachers-turned-consultants Kim O’Mara and Davie Thé recount their days of getting a class back on track after a holiday, and share their tips on how to glide back into the classroom like a pro.

Young school teacher

Continue reading “How to refocus your class after the holidays”

Advertisements

A Canadian in London (the other London…)

Laura's headshotExactly one year after making the move from Toronto to London (London England that is, not London Ontario), Laura Clementson demonstrates in true Canadian style just how wonderful living in the UK really is.

When asked to share how my experience of moving to London was a great decision, I jumped at the chance. It’s a pleasure explaining to fellow Canadians why I think moving abroad is one of the best things you can do for yourself, both professionally and personally.

Being in London for a year now, I have endured the many trials and tribulations of moving abroad on my own. Naturally there have been setbacks, and not everything has gone to plan, but there is something so gratifying about moving to a foreign land and starting from scratch. While getting over the humps, you learn not to sweat the small stuff.

Continue reading “A Canadian in London (the other London…)”

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART SIX

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Working with your Education Recruitment Consultant (Smart or otherwise)

Whichever agency you decide to go with, the one thing I would say is to go with a consultant you feel 100% comfortable with, and be upfront with them and unafraid to ask questions. This is your career and life in London – you want to make it as successful and enjoyable as possible. It is their job to help you succeed.

Communicate with them often. Let them know what you’re looking for, what works for you and what doesn’t. They may not know all the answers right away, but they will know what to do to get them.

Early on I made a habit of visiting the Smart Teachers office to meet with my consultant face-to-face rather than over the phone. This made it much more personable to me, and we’re actually good mates now.

Be upfront about the schools you’re working in. They want as much feedback as possible. This way they can match you with a school that suits you best, which in turn will benefit you and the students. Also, ask them for feedback, see how schools are reacting to you.

That concludes Michael’s series of blogs on living and teaching in London. We hope you found it helpful, and would be delighted to hear your feedback! Peace out Smarties x

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART FIVE

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Living in London

Since you’re moving to London and have been attracted to the city for whatever reason, you’re probably thinking that it’s a great city. Guess what, you’re absolutely right. London is a truly amazing place to live, and it won’t disappoint. But as there are (literally) millions of other people who all feel the same way, finding a place to live can be a challenge.

When deciding where to unpack your bags, transport links are probably the most important factor to consider. They will give you a greater opportunity to travel, get around the city quickly, and allow you to be flexible with the schools you can get to.

Having travelled on most of the London tube services, some are better than others. Picking an area where you can get multiple tube lines can be helpful, although it can cost you a bit as well.

Continue reading “An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART FIVE”

London Christmas Lights

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART FOUR

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Preparing for lessons

It’s very rare that you’ll arrive at a school to find that no work has been left for you, but if it does happen, be prepared! Here are some tips for preparing emergency lessons for various year groups.

Have an online resource set up to include maths and literacy activities. One great site to gather resources is Symbaloo. Set up an account and bookmark useful YouTube videos and websites.

For numeracy, you could refer to something like Khan Academy to explain mathematical processes, or alternatively the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.

For literacy, World of Tales is great for narratives and folktales that you could unpack with any year group. You could also take an online reading of a picture book from YouTube.

Continue reading “An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART FOUR”

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART THREE

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Managing the teaching workload

No one wants to be working hours upon hours unnecessarily, so you need to be clever with the time that you do have. Utilise your breaks in the day wisely. Yes there will be times when you will need to work overtime (we all do). Can you use the EA to help you along the way? Try to do as much over-the-shoulder checking as possible. Not only are you able to correct mistakes, but you’re also able to explain corrections to the students.

At times, you can mark while students are working, especially during literacy maths. Try to get at least half done during the lesson, it does save time. If there are strong students in the class and they’ve finished their work before others, see if they are willing to peer mark. It’s always good to engage the students. Continue reading “An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART THREE”

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART TWO

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Asking the right questions

Never assume. Asking questions along the way will not only benefit you, but in turn help the school if you have the information you need.

Starting the day by asking where to get your timesheet signed probably won’t get you off on the best foot. Consider asking these questions…

Supply Teaching Roles

  • What is the marking policy? Do they highlight parts of the Learning Outcomes? Do they have codes used for marking? What colours do they use?
  • What is the behaviour system? Some schools have standard traffic lights, whereas others may have modified traffic lights with a positive side of bronze, silver and gold. Know what to do if a student is not following instructions; what the next step is, if you need to use it.
  • What are the break times, and end of day routines? Do they get dismissed from the class? Do they get walked out to the quad?
  • Where are the fire exits and what is the evacuation procedure? In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to look like Kindergarten Cop with kids running from the building in all directions.

Continue reading “An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART TWO”

An Aussie’s Guide to Teaching in London: PART ONE

Michael Dunn is an Australian trained primary teacher who left Brisbane life for London town. Here is an honest rendition from Michael on what it’s like teaching 10,262 miles from home.

Embracing the British classroom

When doing supply, usually you will know which year level you’ll be teaching when you’re booked. Only occasionally will you arrive at the school without knowing which class you’ve been assigned to.

In terms of class sizes, the average UK class holds between 20 and 30 students. What’s great about schools in London is that many are culturally diverse, which offers the opportunity to learn about various backgrounds. You can even learn the odd word or phrase too!

group of kids with teacher and tablet pc at school

At the end of the day, just be yourself, be confident in your ability, and maintain strong assertive behaviour management that’s consistent with the school’s policy.

Dress to impress

As the adage goes, first impressions count. You want to send the right message that you’re professional and serious about your position.  Many UK schools are still quite conservative so it’s best to play it safe and overdress opposed to underdress.

Gentlemen: Jackets and ties do make a difference. Every now and then you will get schools that are more casual, but it’s easier to take a tie off than pull one from thin air.

Ladies: Be professional and smart, but also make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing and can move around.

Dean_deciding_what_to_wear

If you’ve just arrived and need to fill your wardrobe, this can be done on a budget. Check out H&M, Zara, Next, TK Maxx, and ye old faithful Primark.

Clothing aside, present yourself with confidence. Being professional and consistent is worth its weight in gold. You have a marketable quality in being a Smart Teacher, so get out there and sell it.

Stay tuned for Part Two, in which Michael will talk about the types of questions you can ask to help you put your best foot forward at a new school.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: