Week 4: Help I'm a New Teacher

It’s been a busy week for most of us as we get used to the routines and school life in general. I’m sure many of you have picked up colds and such symptoms and if you are one of the lucky ones who hasn’t yet had the pleasure so far, then don’t worry as your turn will come! 

Most of us during the first two terms or so go through a constant supply of tissues and a sore upper lip. This is just our bodies getting used to a new mix of all the things floating through the air but it will get better, trust me!!

I have been meeting with a lot of school-based mentors since my last blog entry (Week 3: Help I’m a New Teacher) and it’s great to hear their reports on how many of you are settling in. One of the questions that has cropped up several times is, what should my new teacher be collecting ready for their portfolio of evidence - or as we call it the Entry Professional Development Portfolio (EPDP) - and in what format should it all be in?

First things first, please don’t start panicking. There is a long way to go and you will have plenty of time to gather the evidence which can be presented in either paper or virtual format depending on your particular style. 

The next thing we need to consider is the quality of evidence; our aim is to have as many of you complete induction as good or better teachers, not the next cohort of Xerox engineers, so think about quality rather than quantity. 

Resist the temptation to rush out and buy a lever arch file, a simple ring binder will do. Adopt the philosophy:  if it won’t go in, something has to come out. This will serve two purposes, 1) Delay the hoarder instinct which comes with being a teacher and 2) Make you think about the value of the evidence. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions:-

  • Do I need it and why?
  • How many standards does it provide evidence for (the more the better)? 
  • Would a CD or memory card (for photos) be a better option? 
  • How does it link to my teaching and my pupil’s learning?
  • Is it a must have or like to have? 

I see a whole range of files, some are works of art which the owner has lavished hours over whilst others could be considered a work in progress. 

It does not matter which style yours is as long as by the end of the year all the information is there.

A few essentials to include:-

  • Copies of all lesson observations (with links to the standards) 
  • Evidence to show how you are meeting each standard
  • Minutes (concise) of any meetings you may have attended
  • How you are using your 10% professional development time

Have you read our new blog, ‘12 things to do in Kent-October’? There’s a lot to do this autumn to help you with your work-life balance. 

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