You may think that 8 weeks on placement isn’t enough time to make any changes within a school. Now I’m not saying you should walk into a school with an attitude that you should reform everything but having goals and a can do attitude is very important.
Despite the placements being short it is important to remember that you are being watched at all times. This is not a bad thing it just means that you need to take every opportunity to shine and show that you can put yourself above the rest. As you enter into second and third year placements it is also important to remember that schools are always looking for people to join their staff, and if you are showing that you are outstanding you have the potential to be considered for a role in that school. Other teachers can go off sick or go on maternity leave at any time and if you are showing that you are capable and fit in well it is likely that you could be considered for these roles if they become available.
In order to be considered there are a few things that you can do. Some people think that staying at school for all the hours god gives is enough to set you apart. In reality this is unrealistic and if you are not being productive it won’t show you to be an outstanding candidate, obviously if you need to get work done then stay but don’t ever stay for the sake of it.
Another thing you can do is start a club or activity for the children this shows responsibility and resilience and can be a great way to get involved with other memebers of staff and different school years during your placement. A club can be a great way to show case an extra curricular skill or talent that you may have.
As well as this, getting involved with all aspects of school life can really show how committed you are. For example don’t sit in the staff room in a morning right up until the children arrive, get in there and talk to the children as they arrive, it is a great way to have more casual conversation, meet the parents and get to know the children who are in your class. Another thing you can do is sit with your children at lunch time, this is not always possible but can be used as a form of positive reinforcement for those children who have been good and could be used as a treat at the end of the week.
Lastly creating displays around the school is an excellent way to leave a lasting impact. Children and staff will see these displays even after you’ve left and can be a great memory of what you have taught and what the children have learnt during your placement.
Overall I would say that it is important whilst on placement to consider the lasting impact of everything you do. Make sure you are giving your all and always have employability at the back of your mind – think to yourself am I being the kind of teacher that could be employed?