Tag Archives: job

Casual Teaching Tips

8 Aug

Today’s GUEST POST is from Miss Michael, a fellow 2012 graduate teacher, has kindly agreed to share some of her Casual Teaching Tips for those of us who are yet to begin our relief teaching.  Enjoy 🙂 Mrs Wansink

Having only just finished uni (approximately 1 hour ago) and having only just begun my casual teaching (5 days so far), I have pretty limited experience in the field… Nonetheless, I’ve agreed to put together a small collection of things that have worked for me so far as a casual teacher.

As a casual, it’s important to be able to quickly access quality resources for those 7am calls when you have very limited time to prepare a days worth of lessons. I keep my resources in a portable filing box so if I’m really short on time, I can just bring the whole box with me to school!

Two top inclusions for a casual toolkit:
1. Resources that can be used across several (or all) year levels. It’s really handy to have a few things that you know can be easily adapted for any year level – this is particularly handy for when you plan for one year level and get switched to another class last minute. (Trust me, it can happen!)
2. Children’s books that you know really well.  This saves time looking for an appropriate book at school and if you know it well enough you’ll be able to deliver a way more interesting reading of it to the students.

While it’s great to be prepared, you can’t be set on things going the way you’ve planned.  There are a lot of variables that can come into play throughout a day (many of which you might not be told about).

Those I’ve encountered so far include:

  • Changes to the daily routine (assemblies, special events, specialised language/music instruction etc)
  • Finding out your class is studying a particular unit of work. (You can choose to ignore this or take it as an opportunity to adapt part of a lesson to relate to this unit)
  • No access to the SmartBoard … and the list goes on…

STAYING POSITIVE (one of Mrs Wansink’s favourites!)
Being a casual teacher can be tough. Not knowing the class, OR the school, OR the routines OR the effective behaviour management strategies can be daunting and difficult to get your head around. Find a way to stay positive even in the moments you find yourself completely lost (I have found that eavesdropping on Kindergarten conversations during recess is sure to cheer you up!).

Some final tips:

  • DO learn students’ names
  • DO get to the staffroom and mingle on your breaks
  • DO leave the room neat and tidy
  • DO take notes during the day to leave for the teacher

Miss Michael is a 23 year old fresh-out-of-uni, primary teaching, music playing, cooking enthusiast! You can find out more about Miss Michael’s teaching adventures at littlemissmichael.wordpress.com


What to Wear!

26 Jul

It may seem silly but one of the first things I worry about before going on professional experience is WHAT WILL I WEAR? Typical girl, yeah?

In order to avoid the stress of deciding what to wear each morning I lay out all of the outfits I am happy with a week before I start professional experience. I take photos and then allocate a photo to each day of prac….don’t judge!!!

But it really is important – first impressions count and how you present yourself makes a HUGE difference!

So the same goes for job interviews.   Here are some of my pointers (they are debatable as I haven’t had a whole heap of interview experience):

  • Make sure you are comfortable– we have enough to think about without needing to worry about flesh hanging out, skirts splitting, feet throbbing or bobby pins working their way into our scalp.
    • Choose clothes that you know sit right without needing to tug them constantly.
    • Practice bending over, sitting down and standing up – if something goes “boing” or “flop” swap it.
    • Keep your hair off your face and avoid fancy up-dos that develop minds of their own.
  • Don’t be afraid to show some personality– just because it is a job interview doesn’t mean you have to dress ‘boring’.  We are teachers – we are fun, lively, creative individuals – show it!
    • Wearing colours makes me feel happy and confident – that can’t hurt when going to an interview (I’ve heard that blue and grey are the most popular ‘positive’ colours to wear…so they say).
    • Cute dresses, pretty blouses or quirky shoes can shake up a professional outfit and help you stand out, just don’t go overboard – this is an interview not the catwalk.
    • Jewelery is a nice touch but only in moderation (think tasteful, this is not the time for your favourite sharks tooth choker).
  • Double check your outfit before you go – you don’t want to be worrying about a stain, pulled thread or unsightly crease during your 15 minutes of question preparation.  Take the time to get your clothes organised the night before, check them thoroughly and find alternatives for last-minute toothpaste accidents (I’m seriously prone in that area).

One of my favourite pieces of advice (from my Dad of course) is to dress like you already have the job.  Now as teachers this may seem  a bit tricky – do you wear your finger-painting-appropriate outfit, your PE gear or your casual Friday get-up.

My rule of thumb is THINK EXCURSION.  Don’t pretend like you don’t dress up just that little bit more when you go on a class excursion, especially when you know other schools are going to  be there…this is the image you are aiming for in your interview.

Finally, and yes it is time for the clichéd advice – wear confidence and a smile.  Sorry, it had to be said.  But I don’t know of anything that calms me down, slows my speech and makes me breathe as effectively as stopping and smiling.  If you have been called for an interview there was obviously something in your application that stood out and I am guessing, being teachers, you really care about the career you are entering into.  We’re not pretending to know it all (goodness we’ve only had 80 days of experience) but we are proclaiming that we love this career, the people in it and the difference that it makes.

That’s you.   That application, that was YOU!

If that doesn’t make you confident I don’t know what will!

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