First day of term

The first day of term isn't just the day that you've worked so hard at university for, but it's also the day that every new teacher dreads. Laura Burns has been there and has some tips to help you along the way.

Prepare before the start of term

Get into your classroom early to set it up. Putting up backing paper is like trying to juggle four balls and spin five plates at the same time. Ask a friend who has been through the process to help. You'll now start to feel like a real teacher.

Decide on a seating plan

At the same time you set-up your room you should consider coming up with a seating plan. This will make it less stressful on the first day when a hoard of children pour into the room, like penguins at feeding time in the zoo! You may need to change this as the weeks pass.

Be confident and positive

Be confident and aim to make a positive impression. Ensure that the class enters the room in an orderly way then introduce yourself and write your name on the board.

Get to know your classroom assistant

If you're lucky enough to have a classroom assistant, get to know them well. Ask as many questions as you can because they have the advantage of already knowing the children.

Become best friends with your supporter

Your supporter will pick you up from your low points and celebrate your high points. If you're like me, they'll not only be a mentor at work but for all other aspects of your life too! It's comforting to know that there is one person you can count on for help.

If in doubt, ask questions

Working with experienced teachers is a dream come true. From advice about the kind of homework to set, to aiding you with planning, they'll guide you in the right direction at every step.

Who's in charge of resources?

From that elusive box of magnets, to the highly sought after packs of coloured paper, this is the person who can locate it in 5 minutes flat. Be eternally grateful!

Enjoy it!

Finally, and probably the most crucial tip of all, just enjoy it. It'll be the most stressful and tiring year of your life, but also the most wonderful and fulfilling. You'll have a class of children who look up to you and tell you how fantastic you are on a daily basis. And you can walk away at the end of the year with your head held high, knowing that you've made a huge difference to the lives of those children.

Laura Burns
Longniddry Primary School, East Lothian