Starting school can be an exciting and nervous time for both children and parents. But with a little preparation and encouragement, most children will settle in easily at school.
Some parents worry if their child should be able to read or write before they start school but children start school at all different abilities and it is important for parents to spend those first few years prior to school playing games, singing songs and having fun with their child, building up their confidence and teaching them about relationships.
It is important to talk to your child before they start school. Ask them what they think it will be like, what they are most excited about and also to find out if they have any worries.
Most schools offer the opportunity for you and your child to go in for a visit. This will allow the child to have a look around the setting and familiarise themselves with it, meaning that the first day won’t be so daunting.
If you have any photos of you or family members starting school, then show these to your child and talk to them about fond memories you had. If you did not enjoy school, try not to pass your worries on to your child.
Many parents have recently been informed of what school their child has been offered a place at. The school is normally selected for the child based on a number of factors such as preference order from parents, if they have other siblings at the school and distance the school is from the child’s home. If too many people apply for a position at the same school then the council will often have to give preference to the children who have more of a need to be at that school and the other children will usually be offered a place at their 2nd or 3rd choice.
If your child has not been offered a place at your first choice of schools then you may feel worried as often parents haven’t had time to look at other places. There is still time to book a visit and look up at Ofsted reports / league tables etc before you accept the place.
If you are not happy with the choice of school that you have been offered then you will need to speak to the council to see what other schools are available to you.
As a teacher you will be aware of how much you can influence a child’s education. You may feel that you are confident in teaching the subjects on the syllabus but may need to also check that you are teaching them important life skills as well as academic ones.
Punctuality is something that is important all through life and especially when you go on to have a job. If you cannot make it in to work on time on a regular basis then you may find yourself very quickly on a warning or if you are late for an interview, may not even get the chance to show off your skills. This can be taught from an early age, ensuring that children understand how important it is to be on time and to allow enough preparation time if needed.
Another life lesson that can be taught at school is about being smart and tidy. Again this can have a big impact on your life going forward as you may end if in a job where you are expected to wear a uniform or dress in a smart manner such as in an office. Although these things may not seem a big deal, they are important skills that children can be taught early on to help them throughout their adult life.
Often teachers within secondary schools have not ended up there by mistake. It is usually a conscience decision to go in to secondary school teaching from early on in there training. They may have opted for this due to the love of a particular subject or the have the opportunity to teach the challenging and inquisitive minds of teenagers.
Sometimes though secondary school teachers decide that it is no longer for them and that they would like to try teaching in a primary school. Although you do not need any additional or different qualifications, the two jobs are often quite different and you will need to learn to adapt quickly when switching from one to another.
As a primary school teacher you will need to have a wider breadth of knowledge as you will be teaching all subjects not just one. You will also need to know who to deal with different types of issues to ones you have probably been used to in secondary schools and may have to learn to ease up a little as primary students are of course younger. As a primary school teaching who has moved from a secondary school post, you will also have to contend with moving to being a generalist rather than a specialist, and with having the same class all the time.
After carrying out recent studies, supply teachers say that the thing they worry about most (after finding work) is being able to control a class. Often being thrown in to a classroom of children who you have never met before and possibly within a school that you have never taught in before can be very daunting. If you have previously worked in a permanent position in a school, you will have had the opportunity to bond with the class and work out what works best in terms of keeping them interested and keeping a correct level of control. You need to establish ground rules from the first moment the children enter the classroom.
Classroom control is vital to gain the respect of the children and to ensure that works get completed on time and to the correct standard. Without control you may find that disruptive pupils start to affect the while classroom and this can be hard to get back under control. If you have a teaching assistant working with you, then be sure to speak to them about how the class is normally ran and if there are any pupils that you need to be aware of.