All the latest news from BlueSky
The new school year always brings with it a new intake of nervous children, identified by their mint condition blazers, and sleeves down to their knuckles allowing for a couple of years' growth.
It also brings a new crop of teachers; they're the ones looking lost in the corridors as they search for the loo or the classroom for their next lesson.
Every school appreciates that children need a phased introduction to their new surroundings, but so too do teachers. There can be tendency to regard them like a washing machine: plug them in, select a programme and expect them to work perfectly from the word go.
When a new teacher arrives, there are numerous questions in his or her head. The physical stuff of where everything is located is one thing, and that's relatively straightforward. But your expectations of their role and performance, and intangibles such as school culture are another.
There is a lot to discuss, especially since a new joiner comes 'programmed' with how things were done at their last school, and has only had brief exposure to you at the interview process. They have real need of your guidance, and if they don't get it, can quickly feel isolated and inadequate through no fault of their own.
Equally, too much information, too quickly, can be overwhelming and actually prove counter-productive.
So while schools' recent induction experiences are fresh in the mind, you might be interested in our induction guidance sheet. It's based on my own experience as an Assistant Head, and our findings here at Blue Sky as we have developed software to support parts of the process.
- A good induction prioritises, and is personally tailored to, what needs to be taken on board by each new teacher
- Give each new joiner a nominated induction mentor
- Set clear targets and identify any gaps in capability that need to be addressed
- Use the focus on each new teacher as an opportunity to map out personalised CPD
- Monitor progress using existing performance tools, and the input of the mentor, to track the impact of the induction. Look for, and address, concerns or issues early on.
Good teachers are becoming increasingly difficult to recruit. Giving real emphasis to a successful induction gives your new talent the best possible chance of delivering what you both want: motivated, confident teachers at the top of their game.
For our practical guidance notes on Induction, see document below.