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New Beginnings

Whether you are in Year 6 or are a fully qualified teacher, big school can be a scary place; especially daunting when you are fresh out of your PGCE and finally facing full classrooms on your own. With lessons to plan, names to remember, first impressions to make and minds to expand; officially starting a career in teaching could maybe even be considered the most daunting of them all. Despite this, being welcomed into the Leeds West Academy family has been a whirlwind of welcoming faces from both staff and students alike.

I mean, I’m fibbing slightly, as technically I have been teaching here since January. Having done my teacher training here, I have already been around the Academy since Christmas 2016. I’m Ms Thorneycroft and I am a Teacher of Spanish at the Academy. Having taught whilst I lived abroad in both Spain and Italy, I had a bit of experience but after my initial six months here I can honestly say that 1) teaching back in my home county of Yorkshire is the best, and 2) the staff and students at LWA have really welcomed me into the family and I am definitely enjoying the start of my teaching career (despite all the unfounded scare stories you hear about teaching!).

Throughout my NQT year at LWA, I am going to blog my thoughts, feelings and general ramblings (probably more of the latter, let’s be honest) on how my first official big-girl grown-up teaching job is going. As a part of this blog, I want to include my top tips (or at least, the ones I’ve found so far) and positives I find in the every day life here at Leeds West Academy. So, that being said… here we go!

Top tips of June:

Say hello and smile to everyone! I know everyone tells you this; but it’s so great when the students get to know you and stop to chat in the corridor.

Telling or showing the students little nuggets of information about your life will hook them in and get them to hang on your every word. I have found sharing snippets about living and working abroad, or even telling them about my family has ended up with students wanting to come and speak to me outside of lesson, as they feel they are getting to know me and I am not some sort of alien-hybrid teacher.

Positives of June:

Without a doubt, my top thing to do on a weekly basis has been positive phone calls home. Hearing parents’ reactions to praise for their children is lovely, but seeing that student’s reaction next time they are in your

lesson is even better.

Sharing is caring - co-planning resources which escalate from a few VLE messages joking about food and ending up with a mini scheme of work about The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish. Muy bien.

Amber Thorneycroft

Teacher of Spanish


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