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What do I need for my first few days at school?

Often teachers will start a job at the beginning of a new term. This time can be slightly chaotic for both teachers and students. Timetables, sometimes, have yet to be finalised or can be confusing. Ensure you have as much information as possible prior to your first day. Don't be afraid to ask questions from managers and colleagues. If you don't ask then it will be assumed that you already know or have been told. The same goes for teachers starting mid-way through a term - ask questions.

If you are a Chichester College TESOL graduate so you are well trained in planning first lessons. Ice breakers, 'getting to know you' tasks, short communicative activities, mini task based learning projects. The key is to over-plan. Have lots of back-up activities ready at various ability levels such as group quizzes. Whilst in later lessons you will want activities to be very student centred, at the beginning you want to have a good mix of student/teacher centred activities. You need to bond with these students straight away so you do need to interact.

Make sure you have course books and curricula, if available, in plenty of time to plan your first few weeks’ lessons in advance.

Well it may seem obvious, but have you worked out how to actually get to school? Do you know the right bus number? Have you done a dummy run? Do you know what the traffic situation is like at the time you intend to set out? What's it like when it rains? This is an important issue. You don't want to be late on your first day or have to rush like a maniac and turn up dripping in sweat. Plan your trip in advance and give yourself some time to spare.

Don't assume the school will be brimming with materials for you to use. Anything you need to ensure your planned activities are successful in your first few weeks including board pens, card, paper, scissors, photocopies etc., should be provided by you.


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