Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let's start at the very beginning

Today was my first day as a salaried teacher. Admittedly, I didn't have to teach anybody anything, it was inservice, but my contract began today, and from today I am a real, live teacher.

So how was it? Well, the school performed very badly in last September's HMIe inspection report and as such has alot of work to do to avoid this ever happening again. Much of this work has been begun, but alot still has to happen, and since the previous HeadTeacher has now left and a new HT has joined the staff, big changes are afoot. The school is also in the process of being systematically rebuilt and refurnished, so it is a time of massive change and, hopefully, improvement.

The upshot of all this is... meetings. We discussed the previous inspection and the results, how the staff felt things had improved and where they felt things needed to go in order to develop which was interesting for me, not having seen the school as it was when the fateful inspection took place. I know what I need to be doing in my class to improve learning and teaching and meet the requirements of the HMIe, but it's difficult to think in a wider, whole-school context because I don't know the school. This will be a long-running thing, and I think the theme of the year will be "Development Meetings"

After that we had some discussions about contracted time and stuff which made no sense to any of us probationers, followed by a yummy lunch.

A Fire Dude (official title) came to talk to us from the Council, due in part to the fact that the school has only *just* ceased to be an official "building site" and instead be classified as a "place of work", so we now know how not to burn to death.

After this I had a meeting with my stage partners (i.e. the other teachers of P7, of which there is 1 full time, 2 job share and my own 0.3 - the teacher who takes the class when I'm not there). We planned activities for the week ahead, and all in all I feel much more comfortable about what's going to happen next week and what I'm going to be doing.

Then I went back to my classroom, faffed around for an hour and came home, steadfastly resisting the urge to take stuff back with me, stare at it, panic, and do nothing useful at all.

Tomorrow it's back to school to get all the fiddly little jobs like putting name labels on the children's trays, creating group sheets, making laminated letters to label the big wall boards with (saying things like "environmental studies" etc.) and I expect we'll talk more about timetabling, development plans etc.

So, now you know what an inservice day is like (you poor, bored souls), tonight Paul and I are going to order a new and lovely bed, and I'm going to drink some wine and possibly have chinese for dinner (even though that's very naughty) to celebrate the fact that I am now, officially, a properly independent grown up.

Now, when you're all facing the front, listening carefully and not talking, you may put your chairs up on the tables, get your bags and line up at the door for home-time....

Good evening, class - see you tomorrow :)

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