Employing school leavers

With many students looking like they may finish their school year early this year, there is already a number of people looking for work. The main issue that school leavers are going to face is that there is likely to be a lot more competition for jobs as lots of people have found themselves out for work due to the lockdown situation.
As an employer, when you look to recruit a new member of staff you will need to think carefully about what skills and experience they need to have if any. If the job requires little skill and experience then you may decide to employ a school leaver.
Some employers are reluctant to employ school leavers, thinking that they may be unreliable and require too much time and resources to train them up as they are not used to the work environment, but this is often far from the case. Many young people who leave school to work want to find themselves a career and are often willing to go above and beyond to prove themselves. You can also then train them up in the way that you want them to work rather than have to try and retain someone that is sued to working a different way for another company.

What are my responsibilities as a supply teacher?

When you are working as a supply teacher either for a school that you are familiar with or through an agency it is not always clear what your responsibilities are beyond the obvious ones of teaching the class and making sure that safeguarding guidelines are followed to the letter. Some schools have a clear policy on what they expect of a supply teacher but many haven’t so if you want to be offered work on a regular basis it is important that you create the right impression and fulfil the duties expected of you in a particular school.

Some teachers whose classes you cover will leave work for the children to do and expect this to be carried out as their guidance. This is especially the case with older children who often have a fixed curriculum to cover in a given timeframe. If this is the case it is important to carry out the teacher’s instructions as fully as possible. A brief note to the teacher outlining how the day went is a valuable way to communicate but should focus on the positive aspects if possible.

Sometimes if a supply teacher is needed to cover for an unexpected absence no work has been allocated so it is a good idea to have lessons up your sleeve that can be adapted to the age group you are teaching. Always mark any work that either you or the teacher has set, checking with the school marking policy or a senior member of staff if in doubt as to the level of marking required.

How to cope with exam anxiety

For some people the thought of sitting exams fills them with dread and prevents them from achieving their academical potential as they avoid studying subjects that require a final exam assessment. There are however steps that can be taken to minimise this anxiety and make the prospect of sitting an exam less stressful overall.

Being well prepared for the exam by having revised appropriately can help to boost confidence as can being part of a study group where revision is shared by students undertaking the same course.

On the day of the exam it is vital to have had sufficient sleep the night before even though this may seem difficult. By using relaxation techniques and meditation this is achievable. Eating a healthy but light meal is a good idea and keeping hydrated with water or juice is also advisable.

Breathing exercises have been shown to relieve anxiety symptoms and instructions for how to perform them correctly can be found online. Arriving ten minutes early to the exam location is advisable as nothing builds tension like rushing in at the last minute but avoid talking to others who may be showing anxiety instead play a game on your phone or read a magazine.

Remember that most people feel nervous before tests and reward yourself with a treat when the exam is over.

How to enhance your exam performance by revision

Whether you are taking examinations at the end of your secondary education or at a higher level you will have been encouraged to revise the curriculum you have been studying to further your chances of getting good grades but it is difficult to know where to begin and what strategies are most effective.

Most teachers and tutors will be able to guide you on the essential knowledge that you will need to have and also on frequently asked questions that may be posed but this should only be considered as a guide as they will not have prior knowledge themselves.

The best approach is to write down the key points of the area you are studying as a reminder. This will usually be enough to enable you to recall the detail if needed. Mnemonics are useful to help remember important phrases or lists and have been used throughout education as an effective learning tool. Some students find that sticky notes placed around the house can be a good strategy when it comes to recalling facts as it almost becomes a subliminal way of learning.

Working with another person can be a helpful way to revise especially if you are both sitting the same exams as you can test each other on facts whilst also revising content yourself.

Making a job share in a primary school work for you

If you are returning to work after maternity leave or simply wish to reduce the hours you are working, you may be considering taking on a job share. This is often an excellent way to address the work life balance that many teachers find challenging and can even benefit the pupils in school.

The first question to ask is how the job is going to be divided up. Is it going to be a fifty-fifty split or is one employee going to do more than another? Obviously, this will result in a difference in pay too and will be directly proportional to the hours or days worked.

The next consideration is curriculum subject responsibility. Some job shares work best when a teacher’s strengths are utilised so that, for example a teacher who enjoys and is good at art leads that subject and a teacher whose strengths lie in technology takes responsibility for computer studies. This strategy is going to be of benefit to the pupils in the class as they are getting twice the expertise than they would normally.

There are some curriculum subjects that both teachers will need to teacher however the burden of planning and marking can be shared making these time-consuming tasks less onerous.