When you walk into your first of potentially many UK maths teacher jobs you want to make an entrance in your classroom. You don’t want to be seen as a pushover for your class in front of you nor do you want to be a bull in a china shop. Even if you aren’t an outwardly extroverted person, do your best to stride into the classroom with confidence without replicating the manner of a drill sergeant. Be clear and concise in your speaking and ensure you have an air of authority in your tone of voice. Nerves can kick in before you walk into the class and that can go two ways: clam up and be silent or jabber on a mile a minute and the pupils having a slack jawed look about them who haven’t understood a word you said.
Walking into a brand new setting in any job, your first impression is very important. You reflect the person you want to portray and sometimes that means not being yourself. Setting expectations in a classroom is a whole other ball game when you see thirty pairs of eyes staring at you and waiting in anticipation to what you’re going to say next, this is scary! But you cannot ever project that reaction and you have to act like it’s the easiest thing in the world and you have the confidence level of Simon Cowell. Aim to be human with the children in your care. There’s every chance that they are as nervous about meeting you as you are about meeting them. The only way to make your job successful is to be a figure of trust and authority that they can respect and they understand you would respect them just as highly. Don’t be a tell-tale and tell them that you’ll be telling their parents for every little thing. Let them own their behaviours and deal with consequences in a way that doesn’t treat them like children.
There are many options for a teacher and whether you choose to go abroad or take one of many UK based science teaching jobs you will be in for a lot of learning yourself when you embark on a new position. React positively when questions are aimed at you whether it’s about the set work or your own life. Usually there’s a line with personal teacher/pupil relationships and sometimes questions asked can be inappropriate but opening up as a person not just their teacher can actually mean something for the children in your care. It can show you as a human and more than just their dreary old teacher! Learn their names, treat them with some respect and learn who they are. Not just their surnames but first names and if you get to know them a little remember the things that make them happy. Those small things you notice will be big to them. Be firm and not aggressive; you want to show them authority but you also want them to appreciate your teaching style. Give and take is all you need for your role to be successful.